By Nick Stamatakis

The Supreme Court of the State of New York, in an Order issued today, allowed some relief on the Kalamaras side and gave a 20-day extension for filing a response to the motion of the Georgopoulos side, stating, among other legal parameters, that they had a “potentially meritorious defense”.  This court order allows the Kalamaras side to file a full response in the next 20 days.  The Court also notes that the “two parties were engaged in settlement negotiations,” and this statement could prove later a double-edged sword as one side is trying to invalidate the other.

But even if someone is not immersed in this case and has no legal education at all, it would be easy to see that the Court has already taken a position that these behaviors are childish. Do you make a motion to dismiss (Mr. Georgopoulos’s side) at the same time as you engage in settlement negotiations?  Do you make a motion (Mr. Kalamaras’s side) to “invalidate” the other side as you engage in settlement negotiations?  How childish is this!!

You can read the Court order here FEDERATION COURT ORDER NOV 30 2022_20221130_0001.  But we can already assume that the Court will take its own sweet time to conclude, as the two sides are “negotiating”.  As they should.  What do they have to separate them really?

The time is ripe for a reunion of both sides at Stathakeion, where a common Parade Committee will be elected at the minimum, and an effort will be made to install other committees toward Elections next June.

It is very encouraging that the Georgopoulos side has publicly stated during their meeting on November 17 (link here) that those who had served in main positions in the past (Georgopoulos, Tomopoulos, Bardis) will NOT participate in the next elections.  In their meeting of November 17, the Kalamaras side, according to reports that we verified, has said the same – at least Dimitris Kalamaras did say that “it is NOT our intention to participate in future elections.”  I am sure that this statement covers Dimos Siokis, and I am hoping that it also covers Christos Vournas.  Kleanthis Meimaroglou has stated to me and others that he is not interested in participating in any elections. Kleanthis’ name appears on many occasions in the Audit committee’s findings, mainly around the mismanagement of about $20,000 in cash. He has given explanation repeatedly about this issue publicly, and I have heard them with my own ears. Are they convincing? Whatever the answer, we cannot be sure because it is serious mishandling of cash. At the same time we cannot put Kleanthis, who served at the Federation for about 4 years, two of which we had the pandemic, at the same level as Galatoulas who was mishandling cash for two decades. Let’s be fair.

As I have stated before, my initiative to help former “presidents” and other long-time “leaders” out of future elections does not in any way mean that they do not have a role to play: It would be very important to form an advisory panel to take the new leadership by the hand and help them during the first year in any way they can – and especially in fundraising.  But it is time for the old generation to step aside.

It is also important for a transition committee to lead the federation for six months to the June Elections – in case the two sides insist on their ridiculous obstinacy.  To show how ridiculous their perceptions are, I will only mention that some on the Georgopoulos side were expecting the Court to allow the use of Stathakeion for three days a week!!  On what planet do you guys live?  Similar situations took place on the Kalamaras’ side, where they “dream” that the Court would justify them… Are you kidding? You have been witnessing firsthand all these violations of the NY State Laws, and you expect the Court to justify you? P-lease… The moment the other side presents the evidence, the Court will kick both sides out!!

Who could be part of such a transition committee?  I will mention a few names of respectable and experienced people such as Philip Christopher (president of PSEKA), Theodore Pavlakos (President of the very active Panlaconian Federation), Nikos Alyssandratos (former president of Kefalos), Kostas Evaggelatos (General Secretary of the World Federation of Kefallonians and Ithakisians).  Kostas Mastoras and Achilleas Liggeras of the Audit Committee can also be part of this and can help in many ways. Almost all of the above have served the community for many decades, and they were not involved in either side of the Federation. This is not an exclusive list, and everyone is welcome to propose other names. I am sure that in the end, we can pick a 3-member committee to lead the Federation to elections.

Finally, yes, I have the USB stick, and I am studying it. I can tell you that it verifies what I knew – what we all knew – before I got it in my hands: Over 70% of the illegalities are directly or indirectly related to the actions and omissions of one person, the late Petros Galatoulas.  We can name a few other persons also, and I will name them at an appropriate time – have no doubt.  But I am asking those who were closely related to Petros Galatoulas, “doing business” with him at the Federation for years, to please stay away from the affairs of the Federation for a few years.  I have in my hands damaging information about many of you.  You know who you are.  Please stay out.  Our goal here is to move the community to the future and not deal with your dirty laundry of the past.

To the Kalamaras side, I will say once again that we all know that you have “clean hands,” and the information we have in our hands (not only through the USB stick) proves it.  But this does not mean that you do not have liability: Yes, you are liable because you witnessed all the illegalities without resigning or taking legal action. If you insist on getting justice in the Court system, you will fail the Federation, and you will fail even more the Greek-American Community.  As I have said, this situation resembles a nasty divorce.  What do the Judges say to the parties in complex divorce cases? They tell them that if they are interested in the benefit of the kids (in our case, “the kids” means the future of the Federation), they should put their pride and ego aside.  Sometimes life is not just and fair.  Sometimes you have to accept some injustice to achieve a greater, worthy goal…

The two sides should set a date for a joint meeting, possibly in a Panomogeniaki format, and start with the formation of the Parade Committee immediately…

I rest my case…

November 30, 2022,

DISCLAIMER: The views and statements expressed in this article constitute constitutionally protected opinions of this author.




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