A judge issued a vacate order to halt the use of the former St. John Villa Academy as a migrant shelter -- less than 24 hours after Borough President Vito Fossella and his fellow elected officials filed a lawsuit.
“Normally, people would just roll over, but not here on Staten Island and not here in Arrochar,” said Borough President Fossella at a press conference outside of Villa. “People came out, the people who live here and people from across Staten Island -- and I am sure if they had more time and perhaps no conflicts, you would have had tens of thousands of people here.”
Borough President Fossella said there were no alternatives left aside from filing a lawsuit.
“We tried to talk to the city into moving into a different direction and we were denied,” he said. “But the elected officials who stand behind me grouped together and said we will not let this stand, we will fight and we will not lay down.”
The vacate order cites four causes of action:
Earlier in the day, Borough President Fossella and the same group of elected officials stood outside of Villa to announce that they had filed the lawsuit. As soon as it was over, their lawyers Mark J. Fonte and Lou Gelormino rushed to the courthouse where they received the vacate order.
“Nobody thought we would prevail,” said Borough President Fossella, holding the vacate order. “This document is a victory for the people of Arrochar, for the people of Staten Island, for the people of St. Joseph Hill and for the people of PS 39. This is common sense, this is decency and this is what this country should be about.”