At the beginning of each of its regular monthly meetings, the Common Council meeting accepts communications. Among the communications before the Council this evening was the letter from attorney Dan Hubbell, written on behalf of the Galvan Initiatives Foundation. With reference to the letter, Council president Tom DePietro said that he had decided to withdraw temporarily the resolution that had provoked the letter, and he made it clear that his decision had come days before the letter was received. His reason for the temporary withdrawal was to allow the IDA (Industrial Development Agency) to complete its economic analysis of the proposal from Galvan before the Council weighed in. DePietro stressed the need for transparency and stated, "We will not be bullied by a letter that rested on questionable circumstances."
After DePietro's comments, Alderman John Rosenthal (Fourth Ward), the only member of the Council mentioned by name in Hubbell's letter, made this statement:
I am not surprised that Galvan would attempt to bully and intimidate public officials in our duty to provide oversight and provide the public much needed transparent information as to the Foundation and its operations. The letter, quite frankly, raises even more questions. It is essentially a collection of meritless threats. It is laughably absurd that our very simple, non-binding resolution could be construed as defamatory. Mr. Galloway, whether he likes it or not, can be described as a public figure here, and therefore he and the various entities he operates are open to public scrutiny; it is our duty to provide that scrutiny. Seeking to quash public discourse with regards to important matters of city business is appalling. Serious questions remain about the finances and operations of the Galvan Foundation. I absolutely will not recuse myself from anything related to the pursuit, nor will I be deterred and intimidated. It is my firm belief that the Galvan Foundation should be open to calls for transparency, rather than cagey and hostile in response. Full transparency should be something beneficial to the Foundation and to all of Hudson, but Galvan's belligerence and hostility shows they think differently. I should like to finish my statement by adding that New York State recently passed a law called Anti-SLAPP, which was enacted precisely to combat frivolous lawsuits that aim to intimidate, just like the one that is threatened in Galvan's letter. SLAPP stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.