Obiter Dicta

Get Me Outta Here!

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How big can politics get in a small town? Or, in the case of Lucille Tyska, how small? The former office manager for the River Vale, N.J., town government says backing the losing mayoral candidate led to her departure after more than 18 years. She claims her new boss shrank her office, and that her claustrophobia sealed the deal.

Tyska says, in a lawsuit against the township and some individuals, that the political walls began squeezing her in March 2004 after Mayor George Paschalis took office. She also alleges that she was stripped of many of her duties.

But worse than that, Tyska claims, was that she was moved to a small, cluttered, windowless office, despite having provided a physician’s note confirming that she suffers from claustrophobia.

The lawsuit states that Tyska suffered a panic attack later in the month and had to leave work. When she returned April 2, the suit alleges, she was told to occupy the same office, and again had to leave work in order to put herself under the care of a physician. When Tyska returned to work on May 5, the suit says, “she was astonished when the superintendent of public works appeared at her workstation and started to bolt another employee’s desk to hers, and place a partition between them. He apologized to plaintiff and stated he was ‘only following orders.’ ”

That effectively reduced Tyska’s 6 foot by 8 foot work space to 3 by 4. She alleges that her computer password was changed, preventing her from performing her duties, forcing her out of the job.

Fan Interference?

Security Guards Accused by Patrons of Hits, Errors in House That Ruth Built

After that ugly strike of ’94, Major League Baseball knew it had to do some major league image polishing. Did anyone tell the Yankees?

David Brickman is an Albany, N.Y., lawyer. He’s also a Yankees fan, but the feeling is probably not mutual. Last November, he sued the New York Yankees Partnership on behalf of a man who alleges he was tossed from Yankee Stadium for taking snapshots of catcher Jorge Posada’s wife sitting in the stands. The suit says the team’s Web site contains the following statement: “Single frame and flash photography are allowed.” Another plaintiff’s name was added to the case because the photographer’s blind friend was allegedly left behind to fend for himself.

Then, in December, Brickman made it a doubleheader, suing the club on behalf of a 14 year old boy who alleges he was roughed up and ejected from the stadium for having touched a giveaway toy at the turnstiles on Beanie Baby Day. The toys were free for those 14 and under, but the boy is 5’9” or 5’10”–“more adult size,” Brickman says. According to the complaint, security officials didn’t believe he was 14 and refused him a Beanie Baby. The boy claims he reached into a box and handled one of the toys but did not take it. Then, the complaint states, a security guard “violently slammed him to the ground” and ejected him.

Granted, these are difficult times for stadium security. Aside from keeping fans of the Bronx Bombers in check, there is the need to be vigilant about possible terrorism, but most fans would probably prefer to keep the action on the field.

Written by Terry Carter and Brian Sullivan; stories by;; research by Terry Carter.

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