ALBANY, NY – The lawyers for a controversially named Schenectady food truck complained to a federal judge that the Cuomo administration purged the emails of a top aide who had warned that allowing the Wandering Dago to remain at Saratoga Race Course represented “a problem waiting to blow up.”

The deletion occurred despite the administration’s email retention policy for state agencies, which calls for the preservation of communications “that are to be preserved due to active or reasonably likely litigation.”

The owners of the Wandering Dago, Andrea Loguidice and Brendan Snooks, filed suit in late August 2013 against officials at the state Office of General Services and the New York Racing Association, claiming that the truck had been rejected by OGS’s summer lunch program on Empire State Plaza and banished from Saratoga Race Course on the first day of the 2013 meet due to state officials’ objections to its name. Loguidice filed a separate lawsuit in last month, claiming that she was fired from her job as an attorney for the Department of Environmental Conservation due to her connection to the truck.

While “dago” is generally understood to be a slur on Italians, Loguidice and Snooks insist it is nothing more than a tribute to her ancestors, laborers who were paid “as the day goes.”

In a Nov. 6 letter to Magistrate Judge Randolph Treece, Wandering Dago attorney George Carpinello of Bois, Schiller & Flexner said that a lawyer for Bennett Liebman, Cuomo’s former deputy secretary for gaming and racing, informed the plaintiffs that all emails relating to the cart had been deleted. Liebman, who is not a defendant in the lawsuit, retired in August.

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