Legion responds after coin drop stop

F our days after members of the Whitehall American Legion were cited for disorderly conduct over being in a state road conducting a coin drop, the Legion responded to the situation at the end of its annual Veterans Day ceremonies.

“We are sworn to uphold the Constitution, which gives the right to the complainant or complainants to do what they did,” said Jim Lafayette of the Legion. “But it also gives me the right to stand up here and defend the good name of the American Legion.”

Lafayette said that, like local emergency service companies and other groups, the Legion members were simply conducting a coin drop when they were approached and asked to stop by members of the Whitehall Police Department (a description is found in this week’s Police Log).

The person who filed the complaint, Whitehall resident Ron Rushia, said he did so because he was reporting a situation taking place that was against the law.

“They were breaking the law, and I filed a complaint against them,” said Rushia.

Whitehall Police Chief Matthew Dickinson said it is against the law for organizations to operate coin drops on a state road, and with a complaint filed, any other coin drops, including the Skenesborough Volunteer Fire Company fundraiser set for Thanksgiving weekend, should be canceled.

“We have had a complaint filed against a coin drop, so we are going to have to watch for all of them,” said Dickinson.

When asked if he would file similar complaints against other organizations, Rushia declined comment, saying that he was only focused on the events of Nov. 7.

“I can’t tell you that,” said Rushia. “I made a complaint to the people that were on the street, nothing more.”

On Veterans Day, Lafayette said the donations from the coin drops, which were annually held on the Sunday of Memorial Day and Veterans Day, went to help fund several projects, including the charter for the Boy Scouts, maintaining the memorial wall, insurance for events, flags for deceased veterans and village flags, along with the Toys for Tots train, which will be in Whitehall on Dec. 5.

“That’s why these Legionnaires stood in the road, and, I’m sorry to say, hindered some,” said Lafayette.

Lafayette also said the Legion was more concerned with the situation itself than how it came about.

“We’re focused on the complaint and how that affects our members, not the complainant,” said Lafayette.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Torres will coach – again

20160726_181520

By Krystle S. Morey After a months-long process of back-and-forth appointments, rescinded hires and resignations, Mario Torres has been named […]

500 alumni attend Whitehall All-Class Reunion

DSC_0556

By Dan King Alumni from 19 states and two foreign countries made their way to Whitehall for the Whitehall High […]

Local couple to reopen Scotties’

Mark and Edie Pickard of Granville purchased Scotties’, a long-time diner and gift shop on Main Street, last week. The couple plans to preserve the atmosphere of the former Scotties’.

By Krystle S. Morey After about six months of negotiations, Scotties’ has been sold – and to a local couple. […]

Hicks tasked with reuniting school board

School Board President Audrey Hicks was reelected Monday, July 11. She is pictured here being sworn in at the board’s reorganizational meeting.

By Krystle S. Morey Focusing on academics, improving the graduation rate and boosting student participation are just a few things […]

Classifieds 07/27/16

Lakes Region Freepress – 07/22/16

Northshire Freepress – 07/22/16

Weekender – 07/22/16

North Country Freepress – 07/22/16

Lakes Classifieds – 07/22/16

Classifieds 07/20/16

Granville to pursue $30K Rail Trail planning grant

Rail Trail

By Krystle S. Morey The Granville Town Board voted unanimously at its meeting last Thursday to be the lead agency […]