Winery owner files $14 million lawsuit against Schuyler deputy, Town of Hector

The co-owner of a Schuyler County winery filed a $14 million federal civil-rights lawsuit against a deputy with the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office and the Town of Hector.

John Zuccarino, owner of Silver Springs Winery in Burdett, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in response to an alleged incident from September 2018 and its aftermath.

On Sept. 25, Joshua Mikkelsen, a Town of Hector Water Department employee, stopped his vehicle in front of the winery on state Route 414 to make a phone call, according to the lawsuit.

Mikkelsen parked in a manner that created a hazard and blocked access to the winery, but he refused to move when Zuccarino approached him, the suit claims.

Mikkelsen became verbally aggressive and hostile during an exchange with Zuccarino and eventually drove off, stating he was going to call the sheriff and file a complaint, the court documents stated.

About a half-hour after the incident, Schuyler County sheriff’s deputy Andrew Yessman arrived at the winery and issued Zuccarino an appearance ticket for disorderly conduct.

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