Friday, August 24, 2012



City Judge Jeffrey D. Wait, a contribution-paying supporter of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation (SSPF), is now using his authority as sitting City Judge to actively delay/postpone/obstruct the demolition of Saratoga's most egregious Safety Hazard-- 
The FireTrap at 66 Franklin Street.

The most recent pro-SSPF ruling by Judge Wait is detailed here:
Judge Wait attended the 2012 SSPF Annual Fundraiser Dinner held WHILE HE WAS ASSIGNED the SSPF case. The photograph is from the May 11, 2012 SSPF dinner at the Saratoga Auto Museum:

The photo is titled "Kathleen Lucey & Judge Jeff Wait"...and was taken from the website of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation. Here's the link--

Before the SSPF removes the photo, here is what the SSPF's "Fundraiser Story" looked like online on August 29, 2012:

For those who question the truthfulness of SSPF, a local paper covering the 2012 SSPF Fundraiser wrote "The special evening is one of the foundation’s largest fundraisers of the year. Judge Jeff Wait was spotted at the event…"

So it is an undisputed fact that Judge Jeffrey Wait voluntarily attended the SSPF major fundraising dinner of 2012. He did not attend as a featured speaker or to take a house tour. The ONLY question is did he contribute $65 to further the legal efforts of SSPF at the door that evening... or did he pay only the "member's rate" of $55 to the SSPF? The very very funny question is "Jeffrey Wait, are-you-now-or-have-you-EVER-been-a-member?" 

The City Charter and NYS Fire Code clearly authorize City Code Official Daniel Cogan and Public Safety Commissioner Richard Wirth to Order the demolition of unsafe structures "...without notice or hearing"--

City Code Administrator Daniel Cogan prepares a thorough report with detailed substantiation requesting the demolition of 66 Franklin. In the report prepared on September 1, 2010 Mr. Cogan concludes "As a Public Safety Officer I feel that it is within my duties to ask for an order to demolish this structure (66 Franklin Street) in order to mitigate a serious safety hazard and remove the threat of harm."--

City Judge James Doern reviews the report prepared by Daniel Cogan and issues a three-part Order in which he orders the Owner Joe Boff " demolish and remove said building (66 Franklin Street) from the premises and to make the premises safe." This Order is issued on September 3, 2010--

Through some process, City Judge Jeffrey Wait takes control of the entire case from Judge James Doern. Wait orders a Hearing to nullify the Demolition Order issued by Judge Doern and in which Wait states "I strongly disagree even if the Code Enforcement could or would have the authority to order demolition." The Hearing is held on October 6, 2010--

When Daniel Cogan learned of the Hearing held by Judge Wait and the dismissal of the demolition Order issued by Judge Doern, Mr. Cogan expressed outrage at the process, writing "If a Public Safety Officer, whether they be Fire Chief, Building inspector or any certified Code Enforcement Officer, does not have the authority to take action on behalf of the City (see "Step 1" above), then why have these people and positions in place." The single-page note was written on October 8, 2010--

Judge Wait was apparently so irritated by the content of Cogan's letter that he ordered it removed from the official case docket or any further discussion, writing "I am sealing that letter and directing the parties to refrain from making further reference to it." Judge Wait issued his ruling on October 28, 2010-- 

Judge Wait states on the record “He (Judge Doern) has asked if I wouldn’t mind handling this matter (the 66 Franklin case).” DOES JUDGE DOERN recall the conversation? If so, when did he “ask” Judge Wait to “handle” the matter?

Judge Doern’s Order on September 3, 2010 was an order to demolish the structure… thus bringing closure to the case. WHY WOULD JUDGE DOERN offer to hand over a case that was essentially closed and resolved?

DOES JUDGE DOERN recall Judge Wait asking for the case at 66 Franklin, or does he have any recollection of Judge Wait making inquiries about the status of the case prior to the handover of the case?

DID JUDGE WAIT EVER PRO-ACTIVELY SEEK OR SUGGEST the transfer of the 66 Franklin case from Judge Doern to his (Wait's) case load?

Judge Wait’s words indicate he was willing to lighten the work load of Judge Doern whom he called a “part time Judge.” WHAT OTHER CASES DID JUDGE DOERN “ask” Judge Wait to “handle” in September/October 2010? WHAT OTHER CASES DID JUDGE WAIT ACCEPT from Judge Doern?

HAS JUDGE WAIT EVER ATTENDED ANY SSPF FUNCTIONS in addition to the May 11, 2012 dinner?

HAS JUDGE WAIT MADE ANY OTHER FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS to SSPF aside from the $65 or $55 May 11, 2012 dinner?


ARE ANY MEMBERS OF JUDGE WAIT’S CLOSE FAMILY active members of the SSPF such as to give the appearance of impropriety?

The Judge has no business sitting on this case.
Any questions?


  1. Check your facts. He was never an employee of the preservation foundation and was never on the board and was never even a member. Just how stupid and irresponsible are you?

    1. He contributed money to the SSPF while hearing a case involving the SSPF. Just how stupid and irresponsible is Judge Jeffrey Wait?

  2. Kyle--Many people attended that SSPF event to honor the people they were recognizing that night like Barbara Glaser. The other site, zoominfo, has incorrect information. Jeff Waite was never an employee or on the Board of the Preservation Foundation. He is on the board of the Universal Preservation Hall a totally different and separate organization. Please check your information more carefullly before posting.

    1. The only way to "honor" Ms. Glaser et al was to purchase a ticket to the SSPF Fundraising dinner... at a cost of $65 for non-members or $55 for SSPF members. Which category do you suppose Judge Jeff Wait falls into? Either way, he freely gave money to the SSPF. Not good form, not a credit to the good Wait name.

  3. Dude, the fact you rely on a source like ZoomInfo and hold that as a credible source speaks a lot to your credibility. ZoomInfo pulls info from all over the web and puts together a profile based on that. Until someone actually claims a profile and corrects the info it's just as reliable as anything else you find on the web. Like the two other people said on here, check your sources.

    1. Dude-
      Do you suppose we should trust the SSPF photos... or are they also a bad source? And if they ARE to be trusted, could they please check their records of May 11, 2012 and tell us how much Jeff Wait contributed in return for his dinner?

  4. Kyle:
    I have great respect for your community service and for your commitment to integrity in our goverment. I also have sympathy for the need for very high standards.

    I am assuming that by the posted comments and your responses above that you are willing to accept that Judge Wait was never a staff person, board member, or even a member of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Society.

    I feel confident that ruling on a previous decision that the owner had agreed to to allow an inspection by someone associated with the SSPS having attended a fund raiser would not rise to a breach of ethics that would be subject to action by what ever organization oversees judges. If you think it does, I would urge you to do the research and if you are correct, pursue it.

    Whether or not it is a violation of the ethics standards that are applied to judges, there is still the question as to whether it still represented an inappropriate action. I guess this is an area that civil people can disagree about. The event was clearly designed around recognizing some community members of which one was a friend of the Judge's. I personnally do not see this as casting a strong prejudice on him in spite of the fact that he paid $65.00 to attend.

    I have tried to call you several times to discuss this with you but the number I have for you does not answer and there is no answering machine. I would be happy to discuss this further with you if you give me a call.

    1. Thank you for the comment John. To answer your question, yes, I am following through on this story by contacting the appropriate authorities. We'll soon know if my concerns are valid.

  5. Ms. Glaser and others were being recogized for their significant contributions to the betterment of the city and the way to show respect for them, especially if you have been a life-long resident of the city who has reaped the benefit of their efforts is to attend the function. Since Judge Wait is not now and never has been a member of the Preservation Foundation, he no doubt paid the full price. Don't get the impropriety here. By the way, Kyle, you should thank the Judge for keeping that building from falling down while it goes through the DRC process since it is in your neighborhood. That was what Wait's order in effect did and by the way Boff agreed to letting the Preservation Foundation inspect it when the original order was given. You might want to ask why Boff later changed his mind and resisted what he had agreed to. Remember Levinsky and his building next to the Adelphi that he neglected until it was in fact in the shape he wanted to be able to tear it down. Not a good practice to let happen. Are we to believe too that Boff, smart guy that he is, had no idea the shape the building was in when he bought it. Now there's something that stretches credulity.

  6. By the way, Kyle, I'm afraid you're also incorrect in stating that Judge Wait "actively delayed/postponed/obstructed the demolition." A city court judge does not have jurisdiction to order any demolition. Only DRC or supreme court can do that. Maybe you shuld go pick on them instead.

    1. Public Safety officials have the right to order Emergency Demolitions... but when Dan Cogan did so on July 28, 2010 at the request of his boss PS Commissioner Wirth, Judge Wait ordered that the document be sealed on October 28, 2010 and never to see the light of day.


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