Columbus monument group takes legal action to keep statue in place

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR TV) — Legal action has been taken to determine the fate of a Columbus monument in Syracuse. The Columbus Monument Corporation filed a petition in State Supreme Court to keep it in place.

“It’s unfortunate that we have got to this point. We sent a letter to the mayor on March 3rd, asking to discuss the possibility of keeping the statue, taking this park over here and make it a heritage area for everyone. We offered to raised $25,000 to kick it off, never got a response,” said Nick Pirro, Columbus Monument Corporation’s Vice President.

On April 1, the City of Syracuse’s Corporation Counsel did respond to the March 3rd letter. “The mayor personally has never contacted any of us,” Pirro added.

But when pressed about Corporation Counsel responding on behalf of Mayor Walsh and the City, Pirro replied, “No, not good enough. We’re dealing directly with the person.” Pirro added, “The Mayor made the announcement. Corporation Counsel didn’t announce it. The mayor made the announcement, if he wants to discuss it we were open to discussing it.”

Here are the petition’s arguments:

  • The Mayor lacks authority in law to act against the Monument
  • The City assumed a duty to preserve the Monument
  • Mayor Walsh’s threatened action contradicts and has no support in City Law
  • The City has an affirmative duty to protect the Monument

Syracuse’s Corporation Counsel released this statement:

“The City of Syracuse will respond to the Columbus Monument Corporation’s lawsuit in court. The City has and will follow the process set forth in local and state law regarding the relocation and preservation of the statue. As we do that, we will focus on creating unity. The Mayor appointed an advisory commission last week that is representative of the community to guide the creation of a heritage park at the circle.”

Kristen Smith, Corporation Counsel

No timeline has been set for the next proceedings in the case.

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