By T. D. Thornton
The Supreme Court of New York will hear oral arguments Oct. 11 in a case involving two self-described “citizen taxpayers” who want the state's $455 million loan to renovate Belmont Park declared as “an illegal and unconstitutional expenditure, misappropriation, misapplication, or disbursement of State funds.”
During the oral arguments, the court will consider both the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction and a motion to dismiss the case made by the defendants, who are the New York Racing Association (NYRA), the State of New York, the New York State Assembly, the New York State Senate, Governor Kathy Hochul, state comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
The plaintiffs, Jannette Patterson and John Di Leonardo, initiated the lawsuit on June 22 to try to halt the flow of any state money for the project.
A NYRA court filing on Aug. 18 stated that the claim “fails as a matter of law” and that the plaintiffs “cannot establish irreparable harm.”
The Belmont renovation loan was approved in May when the final New York state budget for fiscal year 2024 included the funding.