Neither of those things happened, however. Over the years, all of the homeowners named in the federal lawsuit settled with the government, paid minor fines and kept possession of their homes. By the early 2000s, the village was the only defendant left in the litigation.
There were sporadic attempts by officials in the Eastern District court to force the village to pay the fine, which Island Park officials say would have bankrupted the village or forced the imposition of massive taxes on its residents.
But on March 4, attorneys for both the Eastern District and the village signed a document stating, “The undersigned counsel for the parties stipulate that the above-captioned case [U.S.A. v Village of Island Park] is withdrawn without costs or attorneys’ fees.”
The stipulation gave the federal government until April 26 to reinstate the case, but legal insiders consider that a very remote possibility in light of the fact that the current U.S. attorney, Richard K. Hayes, had signed the stipulation.