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A 64-year-old Shodack landing resident critical of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed plan - to funnel electricity from upstate New York down south by using National Grid right-of-ways and acquiring property owned by private citizens through eminent domain laws - has found his response has landed him in hot water with authorities.

The man, who opposes the installation and maintenance of overhead transmission lines on and adjacent to his property, is facing charges of third-degree attempted assault after he allegedly shoved a 60-year-old representative of National Grid as the men contentiously discussed the company's right to maintain and survey the right-of-way along the homeowner's property boundaries.

The National Security representatives and security personnel allegedly used the man's driveway to access their route. The driveway, located feet from Shodack Landing State Park, is flanked by No Trespassing and No Monster Power signs. The homeowner questions why National Grid cannot simply bury the power lines.

The homeowner objects to the power proposal, in part, because he and his wife have spent decades rebuilding and remodeling their property and home as a venue for upstate garden weddings, and the Cuomo power line expansion proposal could slice through their acreage under eminent domain laws. A required tower would be erected within 100' of their home, essentially nullifying all of their work and hampering their business prospects.

The couple's home was built by James Vandenberg, famous for his 19th century masonry work. Some of his work can be seen in Broadway's Trinity Church in New York City.

Homeowners who have valid concerns regarding decreased business prospects and lowered property values certainly have a right to challenge a company's access to their lands. However, when situations quickly escalate and tempers flare, using physical violence may result in misdemeanor charges being pressed even if nobody is seriously injured.

Those wishing to avoid a conviction to mar their reputation may want to consult with a New York attorney who can work on their behalf and offer a strong defense that may result in a dismissal of charges or a plea bargain to a lesser offense.

Source:, "Assault charge filed in Wicks, Nat’l Grid run-in" Barbara Reina, Feb. 12, 2014

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