Slate Ridge owner thrown out of selectboard meeting

Published: Oct. 6, 2023 at 5:25 PM EDT
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PAWLET, Vt. (WCAX) - Heated public comments made by the owner of a controversial paramilitary training camp forced the Pawlet Selectboard to suspend their meeting Tuesday night.

Police escorted Slate Ridge owner Daniel Banyai out of the building after a tirade aimed at board members. “I hope that stings because I’ve been losing. But now you guys lost. You’re evil, racist {expletive} people. You’re all a bunch of weak frauds and you’re all going to be held accountable,” Banyai said.

Banyai and the town have been at odds since 2017 when the town says he began operating a paramilitary training facility without the proper permits. Officials say they’re frustrated by Banyai’s refusal to follow court orders. Pawlet officials last month requested that the Environmental Court extend an arrest warrant after law enforcement took no action. On Tuesday, the court ruled against extending the warrant because Banyai’s attorney had filed another appeal.

The selectboard voted to end their meeting Tuesday after Banyai refused to stop talking past his allotted time. Banyai continued to taunt the board as well as the police who escorted him out. There’s no date set yet for a hearing on Banyai’s latest appeal. Pawlet’s Selectboard plans to try to meet again on October 17.

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