Lewis seeks more money from the state after APA victory

Essex farmer and former Wall St. executive Sandy Lewis is seeking more reparations from the state after defeating the Adirondack Park Agency in a 2008 court case.

In November, state Supreme Court Justice Richard Meyer awarded almost $72,000 to Lewis to offset the costs of legal fees incurred battling the agency.

But according to court documents, his attorney - John Privitera - argues that Lewis incurred significantly higher costs while battling the APA for trying to assert jurisdiction over housing for his laborers.

"Conferences with the Lewis Family Farm's principals in this case were intense, often lengthy, and poignant. This is a client's right," Privitera writes.

Lewis had originally sought about $223,000 in legal fees. Lewis's legal team is now asking the court to reconsider the award amount.

The state Attorney General's Office counters that much of Lewis's expense was incurred because of his lawyer's presence at multiple press conferences and outreach efforts meant to publicize the case.

The state also challenged Privitera's $300 an hour pay rate that the Lewis camp claimed in the suit.

The Lewis case has been a consistent thorn in the APA's side over the last two years. It is regularly used as an example of a state agency seeking to unilaterally expand its own jurisdiction without legislative approval.

The state has until Feb. 22, 2011 to finalize its appeal.

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