GREIG — Multiple misdemeanor charges were filed by the state police against a town seasonal resident who is an independent candidate for town justice in the November elections.
Mark D. Hogan, 62, of 7816 Hiawatha Lake Road, was charged with one count of fourth-degree criminal mischief and four counts of second-degree criminal contempt on July 17, according to Lowville State Police Investigator Emerson Lyndaker. Mr. Hogan was also charged with two trespassing violations.
At about 8:40 a.m. the same day as his arrest, Mr. Hogan is believed to have driven up to a tree on property belonging to David Vandewater and damaged a large orange metal “posted” sign mounted on the tree before driving away. Mr. Hogan allegedly returned to Mr. VandeWater’s property later, but no further damage was done.
Mr. Hogan is accused of violating two orders of protection against him, including a permanent injunction, by going onto Mr. VandeWater’s land.
Mr. VandeWater said a number of signs were bent or completely knocked off the trees on which they were mounted and that many old-growth trees were damaged by Mr. Hogan with an ax and that these types of incidents have been happening since Memorial Day and that he has video evidence of what happened.
These charges are the latest in a long line of legal battles, disputes over property lines, right-of-way easements, trespassing and actions taken by both sides to make their points.
Mr. Hogan has sued his neighbors, including Mr. VandeWater, Frank Rose, Russell Falter, and Kathy Wilson, more than six times since 2006.
“Hogan has been castigated by other judges; and has had punitive damages assessed against him by a jury of his peers. Yet, he persists in his campaign of lawsuits,” wrote U.S. Northern District Judge Barbara J. Rothstein in her 2017 judgment of a case filed in 2011 by Mr. Hogan against his neighbors.
The Judge found in favor of the defendants.
In September, Mr. Hogan filed another suit in U.S. District Court against Lewis County District Attorney Leanne Moser, Assistant District Attorney Caleb Petzoldt, Assistant District Attorney Mark Lemieux, State Trooper Fayle, State Trooper Craft, Mr. Rose, Mr. VandeWater and another neighbor, Wilbur L. Stanford, Jr., with claims including malicious prosecution, false accusation, false arrest, defamation and trespassing among others.
Mr. Hogan, a Sackets Harbor native, lives primarily in Fairfax, Va., coming to Hiawatha Lake seasonally to his camp.
He is a registered voter in the town and filed his petition to run for town justice as an independent candidate, under the Sunshine Party name, in November.
It is unclear if the charges now pending against him, the ongoing lawsuit or residency patterns will impact his ability to become the justice if he is elected.
On the current charges, Mr. Hogan was arraigned in Watson Town Court and released on his own recognizance.