Former mayor being sued by village

Village of Pawling DPW garage.

VILLAGE OF PAWLING – Former Pawling Mayor Rob Liffland resigned on December 31, 2020, citing health reasons.  At the time of his resignation, he was under investigation by the village board for misappropriation of village resources.  He is now being sued by the village.

On October 12th of this year, the Village of Pawling filed a lawsuit against Liffland for allegedly ordering village DPW workers to perform water line installations at a property he was associated with, without the approval of the village trustees.   According to the lawsuit, DPW workers spent at least three days in June of 2020 installing a water line under East Main Street to provide water service to parcels at 140 and 146 East Main Street. 

The village said that employee labor was valued at $3,963.  Additionally, the use of the village-owned equipment and materials used for the job was worth more than $7,700. Outside contractors were also authorized by Liffland to perform work.  To date, the village has received invoices in excess of $19,000.  

The lawsuit says that “The total fair market value of the labor, materials, equipment and private contractors for this work was $30,901.99.

Allegations in the lawsuit say that Liffland purchased the neighboring property at 140 East Main in 2018 or 2019 and sold it to a subsidiary of the owner of 146 East Main (Main Corner Properties LLC), making a profit of more than $136,000.  It further asserts that Liffland conspired with Main Corner Properties to develop the two parcels into a commercial-use facility, pending rezoning approval.

When the trustees had first learned of the unauthorized water line work, they sanctioned an investigation into the work.  The trustees hired the law firm of Kerry Lawrence to perform the investigation.  The same law firm is now representing the village in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit is asking that Liffland pay “Damages in an amount to be determined at trial which include, but are not limited to, all costs incurred by the Village on account of the work performed in front of 140 and 146 East Main Street, including, but not limited to a) the fair market value of the time and equipment utilized in connection with the unauthorized work;) b) costs charged by any outside contractors; c) all legal costs incurred by the Village; d) the cost of the independent investigation plus statutory interest.”

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