|Pittsfield Mayor's Husband Files Lawsuit Against Election Rival|
|By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff |
04:21PM / Saturday, September 12, 2020
|Mayor Linda Tyer and her husband, Barry Clairmont, at her re-election launch last year. Clairmont has filed a defamation suit against Tyer's mayoral rival Melissa Mazzeo.|
PITTSFIELD — Mayor Linda Tyer's husband, Barry Clairmont, filed a lawsuit in Berkshire Superior Court alleging Melissa Mazzeo tried to defame him after the 2019 mayoral election.
Clairmont, an accountant, filed the suit earlier this month claiming that former City Councilor and mayoral candidate Mazzeo defamed him and should compensate him for damaging his reputation.
Mazzeo ran against Tyer in 2019 and lost by more than 500 votes.
Later in November, Mazzeo called for a recount
that resulted in Tyer actually gaining two more votes bringing the final count to 6,185 votes for Tyer and 5,657 for Mazzeo.
In Mazzeo's request for a recount and in communications with the secretary of state's Elections Division, Mazzeo had stated an "individual closely related to the Tyer Campaign" had had inappropriate proximity to the ballots.
This person was Clairmont, who had been in the city clerk's office during absentee voting. Clairmont was there pick up records he had requested; the city clerk had him wait in her office. The Elections Division dismissed the complaint finding that he had no access to ballots and no interaction with voters.
After the recount, Mazzeo's attorney Andrew Hochberg suggested Mazzeo may still appeal the election citing irregularities in the handling of the ballots from the registrar's office to the City Council Chambers upstairs. That apparently did not happen and Mazzeo has since moved to Dalton.
iBerkshires.com reached out to Mazzeo on Friday afternoon, and she said she only recently was served the lawsuit and had no comment at the time.
"I was served with the lawsuit about an hour ago,” she said. "I have not even had time to talk with anyone, especially an attorney so I really can't comment right now.”