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Legal arguments filed in Wandering Dago suit

A federal judge will hear oral arguments Thursday in the free speech lawsuit brought against New York state and the New York Racing Association by the Wandering Dago food cart's owners.

Arguments for a preliminary injunction against the state Office of General Services and NYRA will take place before U.S. District Judge Mae D'Agostino at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Below are the latest arguments from the Wandering Dago and the state and NYRA.

The owners of the food truck are claiming a violation of their First Amendment right to free expression.

In responding court papers, both the Office of General Services and NYRA have defended their actions.

"Plaintiff's removal (from Saratoga Race Course) was a permissible ban on ethnic and racial slurs," wrote attorneys at Greenberg Traurig of Albany, which is representing NYRA.

The truck's name was just one of several issues the Office of General Services had with the truck's application to participate in the summer lunch vendor program at Empire State Plaza, wrote William F. Bruso Jr., an OGS attorney.

But Bruso noted the objection to the business name, and also that sandwiches on the menu use such ethnic terms as "Polack" and "Mick."
"The state cannot be aligned in any respect with a vendor whose name and menu consist of racial or ethnic slurs," Bruso wrote in an affidavit.

In turn, Wandering Dago attorney George F. Carpinello filed response papers saying the state and NYRA were unreasonable in preventing Wandering Dago from doing business.

A full story will be in the Wednesday issue of the Daily Gazette.

Follow @GazettePolitics on Twitter.

State Response to Wandering Dago

Wandering Dago Reply to State

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