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					SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
COUNTY OF KINGS
______________________________________________

JOHN A. ARETAKIS, REV. ROBERT M.
HOATSON, MARK LYMAN, and JOHN DOE,
                                                                       COMPLAINT

                        Plaintiffs,
                                                                       INDEX NO:
       vs.


BISHOP NICHOLAS DI MARZIO and THE ROMAN
CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN, NEW YORK,



                        Defendants.

________________________________________________

                 John A. Aretakis, pro se; Rev. Robert M. Hoatson, pro se; Mark Lyman,

pro se; and John Doe, pro se, aver to the following as and for a complaint against the

defendants:

                 1.     This complaint seeks both equitable and monetary relief.

                 2.     Plaintiff Pro Se John A. Aretakis is at all relevant times a citizen of

the State and County of New York and resides at 354 East 54th Street, New York, New

York, 10022.

                 3.     Plaintiff Pro Se Rev. Robert M. Hoatson is at all relevant times a

citizen of the State of New Jersey and resides at 46 Morris Road, West Orange, New

Jersey, 07052.




                                               1
               4.     Plaintiff Pro Se Mark Lyman is at all relevant times herein a

citizen of the County of Saratoga in the State of New York and resides at 32 Colonial

Drive, Stillwater, New York, 12170.

               5.     Plaintiff Pro Se John Doe is a parishioner of the Brooklyn Diocese

and resident of the County of Kings in the State of New York.

               6.     The defendant, Bishop Nicholas Di Marzio, is the Roman Catholic

Bishop of Brooklyn, New York, with offices and/or residence at 75 Greene Avenue,

Brooklyn, New York, 11202, and with a principal place of business in Kings County,

New York.

               7.     The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn is a business with

offices at 75 Greene Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11202, and a principal place of

business in Kings County, New York, and is one of eight Catholic dioceses of and in the

State of New York.

               8.     Defendant Bishop Nicholas Di Marzio and defendant Diocese of

Brooklyn are holders of a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt number and certification upon

information and belief. Thousands of Brooklyn diocesan employees and volunteers use

the Diocese of Brooklyn’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt certificate and number on a daily basis

to exempt them from paying sales tax and other fees that otherwise would be going to the

State and City of New York. It is believed this status allows these defendants to receive

tax exempt contributions and to not have contributions taxed, and the defendants do not

pay other taxes due to their tax-exempt charitable status. In return, tax exempt

institutions such as the Brooklyn Diocese must comply with all laws and rules established

by State and federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service.




                                             2
               9.      Vito Lopez is a member of the New York State Assembly and has

a principal place of business at 434 South 5th Street, Brooklyn, New York, 11211. The

defendant Lopez is an employee of the State of New York, and also has a duty to comply

with State and federal law while in office and while campaigning and running for office,

and a duty not to violate or to conspire with any entity or third party to violate State and

federal laws, and has a duty to act and vote independently and for the good of citizens of

the State of New York, and not compromise his high office for private benefit.

               10.     Plaintiffs have standing to bring this action since plaintiff John A.

Aretakis is a citizen of New York State and plaintiff Rev. Robert M. Hoatson is a

Catholic priest who resided in New York State for twenty-five years and has worked with

defendant Di Marzio, and the plaintiff John Doe is a parishioner of the Brooklyn Diocese.

               11.     During the New York State and New York City public elections of

2009, culminating on November 3, 2009, Election Day, including but not limited to

October 31, 2009, and November 1, 2009, Bishop Nicholas Di Marzio publicly

campaigned and did publicly campaign for certain candidates in Brooklyn, New York in

violation of New York State and federal law. All candidates upon information and belief

were part of the slate of candidates of Assemblyman Vito Lopez, and were done for and

with the aid and cooperation of Vito Lopez.

               12.     Bishop Nicholas Di Marzio and the Brooklyn Diocese used the

public airwaves and technological equipment and procedures (“robocalling”) to urge

voters to vote for candidates aligned with and supportive of Vito Lopez and/or anyone

Lopez endorsed for public office. This was done by using the property and/or assets of

the Diocese as a reward to defendant Lopez as and for a quid pro quo in exchange for




                                              3
help with legislation favorable to the Catholic Church and Diocese of Brooklyn. Bishop

Di Marzio used the telephone lines during a campaign as part of a quid pro quo and/or to

pay back Mr. Lopez for:

                       a. conspiring with defendant Di Marzio in the sale and/or trade of

property in the County of Kings which benefited both men and the Brooklyn Diocese;

and,

                       b. strategically opposing the passage of legislation

pending in the New York State legislature that would assist childhood victims of sexual

abuse in receiving justice. Defendants Di Marzio and Lopez joined in submitting an

opposing bill that deliberately protected Di Marzio and his diocese and neglected

childhood victims of sexual abuse.

               13.     This conspiracy and quid pro quo between a public official and a

private religious organization was accomplished to help the Catholic Church and to help

the Church maintain its assets and save millions of dollars, and to attempt to benefit the

defendant Lopez politically and monetarily.

               14.     Vito Lopez is, upon information and belief, a member of the

Roman Catholic Church and Diocese of Brooklyn upon information and belief, and a

public pro-abortion and pro same-sex marriage elected representative of the State, in

violation of Catholic teachings and public pronouncements. Despite this, Defendant Di

Marzio campaigned in favor of and to help defendant Lopez’s candidates, upon

information and belief, in order to satisfy a quid pro quo and to pay back defendant

Lopez for “real estate” deals which financially benefited both parties and their

businesses, and for Lopez’s work in assiduously attempting to defeat legislation in New




                                              4
York State that would give childhood victims of sexual abuse their day in court, thus

keeping millions of prospective “settlement dollars” in the coffers of the Diocese of

Brooklyn.

               15.     During October and November, 2009, Bishop Nicholas Di Marzio

used telephonic equipment to make calls on behalf of the plaintiff Diocese and the

Catholic Church and Vito Lopez to residents of Vito Lopez’s district and/or

neighborhood and/or Borough to urge and persuade them to vote for the “Lopez

candidates” and to persuade voters to select anyone endorsed by Lopez.

               16.     These actions are in direct violation of New York State and federal

law prohibiting public endorsements of or campaigning for candidates for public office,

and “exchange of favors to violate the law” was conducted as “quid pro quo” and in a

conspiracy with each other.

               17.     The use of religion and religious beliefs in order to manipulate or

influence voters is contrary to the Constitution and the foundation of the laws the United

States was founded on.

               18.     According to state and federal laws regarding tax-exempt

organizations, charitable organizations and their principals are not allowed to participate

in campaigns for public office. Tax-exempt organizations may not endorse or oppose

candidates for public office. According to the Internal Revenue Service, a tax exempt

501 (c) 3 organization “does not participate in, or intervene in …any political campaign

on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.”

               19.     Upon information and belief, tax-exempt organizations, such as the




                                             5
Diocese of Brooklyn and defendant Di Marzio, may not in any way involve themselves

or their churches in directly assisting or opposing candidates for office. Bishop Nicholas

Di Marzio violated the laws of the State of New York and the United States of America

by engaging in overt political activity and/or inserting himself and his diocese into the

campaign(s) of candidates within the geographical boundaries of his diocese.

               20.     Defendant Bishop Nicholas Di Marzio did engage in overt political

activity and/or inserted himself and his church into the November 3, 2009 New York City

and State election campaign with the aid of defendant Vito Lopez and in conspiracy with

defendant Lopez.

               21.     The defendant Di Marzio acted in this manner, using his title and

position within the Church, and using his status as a member of a tax exempt

organization. During the telephone calls (robocalls), the defendant Di Marzio used his

title and position with the Catholic Church and Diocese of Brooklyn in an intentional

effort at manipulating and influencing voters.

               22.     Upon information and belief, the defendant Di Marzio acted in this

manner at the urging and assistance of defendant Lopez.

               23.     The laws about participating in political campaigns are restrictive,

and Bishop Di Marzio and the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, violated the laws that do

not allow “participation” in campaigns.

               24.     Bishop Nicholas Di Marzio violated the tax laws by using his and

his diocese’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status to “campaign” in a civil election, in direct

violation of the laws prohibiting such actions.

               25.     The State of New York uses and spends hundreds of millions of




                                             6
dollars to support and subsidize the Catholic Church and its agencies including, but not

limited to, Catholic Charities, through the Church’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

               26.    The plaintiffs and taxpayers of New York State have been

damaged.

               27.    The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

dictates that there shall be a separation of Church and State. The defendants Di Marzio

and Lopez conspired to violate Internal Revenue Service laws and the Constitutional

separation of Church and State in an intentional attempt to affect and influence the

outcome of the November 3, 2009 election.

               28.    Upon information and belief, the New York State Attorney

General is charged with regulating non-profit organizations, but Attorney General

Andrew Cuomo has a conflict of interest in or a fear of commencing an investigation of

his own church and its non-profit organization(s).

               29.    Rather than acting for the public good and/or for the benefit of his

constituents, the defendant Lopez has acted on behalf of his own private, personal and

financial interests and in a manner to attempt to benefit himself and his confederates

politically.

               30.    Equitable and immediate relief is required and asked for in this

Complaint to remedy and prevent the actions of these defendants.

                     AS AND FOR A FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION

               31.    Plaintiffs repeat and reallege all of the allegations set forth herein.

               32.    This cause of action is against all of the defendants jointly and




                                             7
severally for a conspiracy to violate the First Amendment, and the provisions of the

Internal Revenue Code which proximately have cost the plaintiffs and taxpayers millions

if not billions of dollars, and to have this Court order that the defendants cease and desist

from these illegal or improper actions.

               33.     The defendant Diocese has been violating the provisions of State

and federal law for years in a surreptitious manner, but the recent acts of the defendant Di

Marzio have clearly and unequivocally established that the defendants have violated

these laws, causing the plaintiffs, taxpayers, and the United States damages.

               34.     By receiving the benefits of the tax exempt status as a non-profit,

but by violating the terms and conditions of a non-profit organization, the defendant

Diocese has the obligation to lose its status and to pay taxes or income and contributions,

and for contributors to its organization to lose their deductions.

               35.     The defendant Lopez, despite having a prohibition on

compromising his office, and a strict prohibition on his behalf against direct political

activity by a charitable and non-profit tax exempt organization, engaged in a quid pro quo

and conspiracy with defendants Di Marzio and the Diocese of Brooklyn by giving

“special favors” to the Catholic Church with regards to real estate transactions and

helping to defeat legislation that would directly benefit the defendant Diocese. In

exchange, and as and for a quid pro quo, the defendants Di Marzio and the Diocese

pledged to campaign for Lopez and those he is mentoring, promoting and endorsing.

               36.     As an example of the defendants’ attempt to avoid detection and

prosecution, the defendants acted in this illegal manner on the eve of an election, and on

the weekend before the election.




                                              8
               37.     The defendants conspired to deliver illegal favors to each other,

compromising their offices and public positions, and engaging in a theft of honest

services. The defendants have violated public policy and the public good.

               38.     Defendants Di Marzio and Diocese conspired with Assemblyman

Vito Lopez to exchange, sell, or control property in Brooklyn that was targeted for

construction of housing for the poor by firing a Catholic priest who “pastored” a large

Catholic parish and was the leader of a coalition to build affordable housing. He was

removed from office by the defendants Di Marzio and the Diocese in order to support the

aims, causes, and agenda of defendant Lopez. Lopez, in turn, sponsored absurd and

discarded legislation in the State legislature that would have protected the defendants Di

Marzio and Diocese from paying out large sums of money in civil settlements over clergy

sexual abuse cases.

               39.     The conspiracy has proximately caused the plaintiffs and the

public and community damages, and warrants legitimate and appropriate relief.

                      AS AND FOR A SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION

               40.     The plaintiffs repeat and reallege all of the allegations set forth

herein.

               41.     This cause of action is against the defendants jointly and severally

seeking appropriate equitable relief in that the defendant Diocese should lose its tax

exempt status and should be compelled to pay taxes and income taxes and lose its ability

for contributors to claim a tax exemption.

               42.     By making specific recorded messages on behalf of a politician,




                                              9
defendant Di Marzio has violated laws limiting political activity and advocacy by non-

profit organizations. Defendant Di Marzio identified himself, his position and/or title

with the Church in clear violation of State and federal laws.

               43.     When the CEO of a non-profit organization, who knows or should

know that it is illegal to engage in partisan campaigning in any election (as is the case

with defendant Di Marzio), breaks the law and actively endorses candidates of a certain

party or slate, the organization must lose its tax exempt status or be required to

retroactively pay taxes.

               44.     The actions of the defendants Di Marzio and Diocese require that

the Catholic Church, and at least the Brooklyn Diocese, lose its tax-exempt status

immediately and be ordered to pay income and other appropriate taxes, including

retroactive taxes and penalties for its improper actions.

               45.     When the CEO of a non-profit organization, such as the defendant

Di Marzio, who knows or should know that it is illegal to engage in partisan campaigning

in any election, conspires in a “quid pro quo” formula with a politician and employee of

the State of New York (defendant Lopez) who has a formal “slate” of candidates and is

clear about whom he is endorsing, and then attempts to get certain people elected and

uses his Church authority and position to solicit and secure votes, it is a violation of the

law and the organization must be stripped of its tax-exempt status.

                      AS AND FOR A THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION

               46.     The plaintiffs repeat and reallege all of the allegations set forth

herein.

               47.     The actions of the three defendants are discriminatory, illegal, and




                                              10
unconstitutional, and have caused damages.

               48.     Defendant Lopez has acted and acts in a discriminatory manner

against the constituents of his district and citizens of New York State, whom he is sworn

to serve and protect, by conspiring with a powerful institution in his district (the

Brooklyn Diocese and Bishop Nicholas Di Marzio) that is not allowed to directly act in

political campaigns, according to the laws of non-profit organizations and the Internal

Revenue Service.

               49.     Bishop Nicholas Di Marzio acted and acts in a discriminatory

manner against his constituents who are adversely affected by the conspiracy he entered

into with defendant Lopez to exchange, sell, or deal property, leaving many constituents

without affordable housing.

               50.     Defendant Lopez has acted and acts illegally by conspiring with

defendants Di Marzio and the Diocese to make “deals” with politicians as a quid pro quo

for receiving goods and services and campaigning for defendant Lopez’s candidates.

               51.     The actions of the defendants have resulted in and continue to

result in unfair and discriminatory behavior and actions as and toward the plaintiffs.

               52.     In an effort at avoiding laws, the defendant Di Marzio acted in

discriminatory, unconstitutional, and illegal manner.

                     AS AND FOR A FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION

               53.     The plaintiffs repeat and reallege all of the allegations set forth

herein.

               54.     The Catholic Church’s insertion into the homes and families of




                                             11
citizens and voters in Kings County violates the First Amendment separation of Church

and State.

               55.     According to the Internal Revenue Code, 501(c) 3 churches and

Bishops are exempt from federal and State income taxes and are eligible to receive tax-

deductible contributions; in return, they may not participate in or interfere in circulating

the publishing of any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate

for public office. This is an absolute prohibition.

               56.     As part of a quid pro quo, the defendants each conspired to

compromise and violate the laws of the State of New York and the United States of

America in an effort to mutually benefit each of the parties.

               57.     The defendants’ actions have violated the First Amendment,

infringed on the religious or non-religious beliefs of the plaintiffs and others, and have

proximately caused damages.

                      AS AND FOR A FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION

               58.     The plaintiffs repeat and reallege all of the allegations set forth

herein.

               59.     This cause of action is for injunctive relief in order to prevent the

continued illegal and/or improper actions or conspiracy of the defendants.

               60.     The defendants Di Marzio, Diocese, and Lopez are and have

become deeply intertwined in 2009. Defendant Lopez led a legislative effort to kill

legislation that would have given a one-year window to victims of sexual abuse by clergy

and others in which to file civil actions in order to hold their abusers civilly responsible.

               61.     Defendant Di Marzio, upon information and belief, was chosen by




                                              12
the other bishops of New York State to organize and defeat the sex abuse legislation

because of the “quid pro quo” arrangement with defendant Lopez. In exchange for Lopez

derailing the sexual abuse legislation by introducing a poison pen bill that never had a

chance of becoming law, defendant Di Marzio promised Lopez access to “Catholic-

owned” property that he could use for his own purposes, and a promise of assistance in

upcoming campaigns.

               62.     Upon information and belief, the defendant Lopez is and has been

the significant and primary legislator who has advocated for and sponsored legislation

favorable to the defendant Diocese and the Catholic Church, and it is this example of a

quid pro quo that caused the direct and overt political activities of the defendant Di

Marzio.

               63.     Plaintiffs respectfully request this Court to grant injunctive relief,

ordering the defendants Di Marzio and Diocese to cease and desist in their campaigning

and any other political or quid pro quo activities associated with defendant Lopez, his

surrogates, and/or the election process.

               64.     The defendant Lopez has impermissibly partnered with an

established religion in an effort to benefit the defendant Lopez and this acts to shield and

protect the Catholic Church and its assets.

               65.     The actions of defendant Lopez have created a situation where the

State of New York has partnered with one established religion, which is discriminatory

toward other religions, and has harmed the plaintiffs.

               66.     The circumstances require immediacy and urgency.

               67.     The equities run in the favor of the plaintiffs.




                                              13
               68.     The defendants are powerful entities and political persons and have

disproportionate power compared with the plaintiffs.

               69.     There is a substantial likelihood of success of the plaintiffs, and

severe prejudice and irreparable harm.

               70.     There are public policy concerns at issue that warrant the granting

of appropriate injunctive relief.

               71.     The defendants would not be prejudiced if the equitable relief were

issued.

               72.     If the Court does not prohibit or restrict this action or grant the

relief requested, the defendants will continue to violate State and federal laws at issue,

causing harm to the plaintiffs and the citizens of the State of New York.

               73.     If injunctive relief is not granted, the damage will have already

been done, and will continue into the future.

               74.     The defendants, upon information and belief, have acted in a

criminal manner and in a manner that infringes on the First Amendment and other well-

established laws.

               Wherefore, the plaintiffs respectfully request that injunctive and other

such appropriate relief be granted against the defendants.



Dated: December 16, 2009




                                             14
                               ___________________________________
                               Robert M. Hoatson
                               Pro Se Plaintiff
                               46 Morris Road
                               West Orange, New Jersey 07052
                               (862) 368-2800



                               ___________________________________
                               John A. Aretakis
                               Pro Se Plaintiff
                               353 East 54th Street
                               New York, New York 10022
                               (917) 304-4885




                               ___________________________________
                               Mark Lyman
                               Pro Se Plaintiff
                               32 Colonial Drive
                               Stillwater, New York 12170
                               (518) 852-7295




                               ___________________________________
                               John Doe
                               Pro Se Plaintiff




Cc:   New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo




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