Gloversville police chief defends denial of Sno Kone Joe license

Thursday, May 23, 2013
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— Confrontations involving ice cream trucks led Gloversville Police Chief Donald Vandeusen to warn Sno Kone Joe proprietor Amanda Scott and Joshua Malatino another incident would threaten their vendor’s license.

Vandeusen testified Thursday in state Supreme Court in Johnstown that his recommendation Scott be denied a vendor license this year was based on concerns somebody was eventually going to get hurt. He said instances dating back to 2009 were enough for him to recommend Mayor Dayton King deny Scott a new license.

“If this course of conduct is allowed to continue, it will escalate into a violent situation,” Vandeusen said.

And the fact that an ice cream truck is involved makes it more likely children would also be involved, the chief said

Vandeusen was the most recent witness to testify in a hearing in which Scott, through her attorney, William Lorman, is trying to convince Justice Joseph M. Sise the city’s decision to deny the license was arbitrary and capricious.

The denial followed criminal charges lodged April 30 by Gloversville police against Scott and Malatino, described as her voluntary worker, alleging they harassed and stalked Mr. Ding-A-Ling driver Phillip Hollister.

So far, Lorman has punched several holes in Hollister’s claims, pointing out a police report suggests Malatino was following Hollister — yet Hollister said in his statement he and Malatino were driving in opposite directions on the same road.

Hollister also told police he’d gone inside his home after he saw someone he believed to be Amanda Scott videotaping him on his front lawn. As it turned out, Malatino’s daughter did the taping, and Hollister didn’t go into the home the entire time Scott was outside selling ice cream from the Sno Kone Joe truck.

Despite inconsistencies and differing testimony that sheds doubt on the criminal charges, Gloversville’s city attorney, Michael Albanese, worked to demonstrate officials acted appropriately when denying Scott a license. Albanese had Vandeusen review police reports considered during research that preceded the denial, and Vandeusen said his reading of the history of Scott's and Malatino’s involvement with police wasn’t reassuring.

Vandeusen, after prompting from Albanese, agreed the list of incidents involving the pair led him to be concerned about “public safety, health, morals or general welfare” of city residents. According to the city statute that governs grounds for denying a license, that’s all that’s required for the city to reject an application.

The hearing was adjourned Thursday and testimony is scheduled to resume Monday, June 3.

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