Hoosick Falls ends business with local law firm amid PFOA crisis

Mayor to allow FOI requests from media regarding invoices to and from the firm without redactions

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Hoosick Falls voted to discontinue business with a Glens Falls law firm that represented the village throughout the water contamination crisis.

The village board voted unanimously to end business with FitzGerald Morris Baker Firth Law Firm, which represented the village since before PFOA contamination became public knowledge. Many said it was the first step toward the transparency they’ve been asking for.

“Given all the questionable things that have come to light, it was an absolutely necessary step,” Loreen Hackett, of Hoosick Falls, said.

“Really pushing the transparency that everybody has been looking for, for the past three years,” Michael Hickey, who discovered the PFOA contamination, said.

Hackett and Hickey have spearheaded the community’s efforts to find the truth. They said Monday night’s vote was big.

“So many other things have been infuriating and hidden that half of you doesn’t want to know any more,” Hackett said.

But there is more. Mayor Rob Allen announced that along with the termination of the agreement with the law firm, the village will also honor Freedom of Information requests from the media regarding invoices to and from the firm without redacted information.

RELATED: Complete Coverage: Hoosick Falls water contamination crisis

“We’re going to be open and transparent,” he said. “We’re going to let the documents speak for themselves.”

Allen said the information in the documents shows why the firm should no longer represent Hoosick Falls, and he wants it to be public knowledge.

“The village needs to know we’re advocating for them,” Allen said. “We’re looking into all of the data, all of the science, all of the facts, so that we can make the best decision.”

Something Hickey and Hackett said they’ve known for a long time.

“He’s moving fast and has what we expected from him and what we hoped, and he’s doing everything that he said he was going to do,” Hickey said.

“We have quite a bit of faith in what he knows, the knowledge he has, and how he’s going to use it,” Hackett said.

The mayor said the next step is finding a new law firm. The village attorney will stay on for another two to six months before retiring.

When new representation is found, Allen said he’ll move forward with working out a deal with Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell that benefits the village.

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