OWEGO -- A multimillion-dollar slander trial began Tuesday with allegations made by both sides, including claims of a conspiracy to get rid of the police chief.
The suit, brought by Original Italian Pizza and Restaurant owners Michael Yammine and Hassid Kazan, alleges village Chief James DeVita slandered them in public on multiple occasions and in multiple locations beginning in 2002. According to their attorney, Earl D. Butler of Vestal, DeVita said the men were "terrorists" and "drug dealers" who got their money from Osama bin Laden.
So, rather than arrest these nogoodniks -- I guess, before they can buy tickets for a hot-air balloon ride at the county fair, hijack it and plow into the town hall or the Elks' Club? -- the Chief chose to talk shit about them at a greasy spoon and the town's motel. Perhaps Barney misplaced his bullet.