The Bronx Supreme Court judge who will decide the outcome of the ongoing lawsuit over the New  York City St. Patrick’s Day parade said he will not consider a pleading letter sent last week by the attorney representing the plaintiff, former Parade and Celebration Committee chairman John Dunleavy, sources told the Irish Voice.

Judge Robert Johnson received two recent letters from Dunleavy’s attorney Francis X. Young and John Tully, who was nominated to succeed Dunleavy as committee chairman late last year.  Johnson was assigned the case after the retirement of Judge Alexander Hunter, who in May heard oral arguments from Young and Mitch Mandell, the attorney representing the defendants, St. Patrick’s Day Parade board chairman Dr. John Lahey and director Frank Comerford.

On October 26, Young sent a letter to Johnson, a former Bronx district attorney, requesting that the sides be allowed to put forth oral arguments again.  Young wrote that the sides failed to come to agreement on an “order to show cause” on how to proceed during a meeting in the judge’s chambers on September 6.

“Almost two months since we appeared before your honor, we still do not have a resolution of the fourth order to show cause. Defendant Lahey continues to ignore the bylaws and does exactly as he pleases,” Young wrote.

“I ask that we be permitted an opportunity to come back and put forth our arguments on the record so that your honor can render a decision.”

Johnson also received a prior letter from Tully, who said the Parade and Celebration Committee that he heads stands “ready to assist the court in any way in its decision-making process. We have not sought to intervene directly in the matter to avoid complicating the issues before you.”

Tully’s letter said the committee was formed in adherence with the bylaws of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Corporation which oversees the parade and which Lahey heads.

“No one disputes that the purpose of the corporation is to run the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade.  Nor does anyone claim that the Parade Committee is independent from or supersedes the corporation,” Tully wrote.

“It is indisputable that the corporation is responsible for and has ultimate authority over the parade.  It is also indisputable that since its inception, the corporation ran the parade through the Parade Committee and that the Parade Committee reports to the corporation.”

Tully’s letter added that his committee was “not permitted to perform our legal roles for the 2016 parade. We deferred any argument so as not to distract from the 2016 parade, pending resolution of this lawsuit.

“Our Parade Committee has an obligation to make every effort to perform our duties consistent with the wishes of the affiliated organizations who were empowered by the bylaws to elect the Parade Committee. The corporation has not allowed us to perform our duties. The sooner this issue is decided by the court, the better for us all.”

Meanwhile, the grand marshal for the 2017 parade, Northwell Health President and CEO Michael Dowling, will be formally introduced during a reception at the Irish Consulate in New York on Thursday, November 17.

Former Parade and Celebration Committee chairman John Dunleavy, waving to the crowds at a St. Patrick's Day Parade.Irish America Magazine