First, he was accused of stalking an old girlfriend. Now, it’s a political rival.
Embattled Putnam County Assemblyman Greg Ball – who was slapped with a temporary restraining order years ago for allegedly harassing his CNN-producer gal pal – orchestrated a “telephone stalking” campaign against state Sen. Vincent Leibell, the senator claimed yesterday.
Leibell said sheriff’s deputies have been guarding his home because he has received hundreds of phone calls to his private number – spurred by a massive robo-dialer recorded-message campaign from Ball that urged residents to annoy the senator at home, he said.
“Do me a favor, call state Sen. Leibell today at his home, at (845) 878-3270, and tell Sen. Leibell that we’re better than this,” said Ball’s message, alluding to claims that the senator has been pulling dirty political tricks on him. The number has since been changed.
“It’s a form of telephone stalking,” Leibell said. “It’s meant to intimidate.”
Leibell said he was also furious that some voters reported that their caller-ID readout displayed his wife’s phone number.
“He’s taking somebody else’s identity, in this case my wife, and using her name and home phone number,” Leibell said. “I would not wish to see this happen to anyone, and I would like to apologize to all the people who received calls.”
Leibell said he’s eyeing legal action.
Ball insisted he made the move after what he dubbed a “smear” campaign against him that he thinks was paid for by Leibell – a claim the senator has denied.
Ball was referring to ads that compare him to Adolf Hitler and claim to be paid for by John Degnan, a Republican running against Ball in a primary contest next week.
Leibell has supported Degnan in the past. Ball said he never meant for the calls to appear as if they came from the Leibells, and insisted his message included his own phone number.
Ball told The Post he was calling a press conference to announce that the FBI is probing his claims that Leibell was part of a large smear campaign that involved a former staffer in the assemblyman’s office.
FBI officials would not confirm an investigation.
Ball’s re-election bid exploded into the headlines a few weeks ago after it emerged that his ex-girlfriend, CNN producer Linda Fern Roth, sought a restraining order against him in 2003.
Roth complained to a Washington, DC, court that Ball kept showing up at her house and her office, and that he “threatened to destroy her career and reputation.”
At the time, she was working for CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Ball was in the Air Force.
Roth also claimed Ball told her he had a sexually transmitted disease that he’d been keeping private.
After the revelations, Ball held a press conference to acknowledge the restraining order, but called it part of a heartfelt and painful breakup. He denied the part about the STD.
Source: NY Post