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PETITION DRIVE PLANNED TO SEEK DELANO SUSPENSION

A citizens group plans to conduct candlelight procession around Delaware Park Lake Wednesday evening to kick off a petition drive seeking the suspension of Parks Commissioner Robert E. Delano.

But the Citizens Action of New York may need a permit to conduct the 6 p.m. demonstration, according to police. And the permit would have to be signed by -- you guessed it -- Commissioner Delano.

"I would presume that, for a demonstration or large group, they would have to apply for a permit," said Lt. Don Brady of the Colvin Station. "And they'd have to get that from the Parks Department."

"A lot of people have been talking, but we think we need an organization to pull something together," said Ellen T. Kennedy, state chairman of Citizens Action of New York. "We certainly are hoping for a fair showing."

In another development related to allegations that Delano ordered chemicals dumped into the late to prevent ice skating, Assemblyman William B. Hoyt said he is seeking state and federal investigations. He said hundreds of people have expressed to him their "frustration and outrage."

Hoyt said he wrote to the heads of the Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which contributed $54 million to clean up the lake beginning in the 1970s.

"The idea that an official charged with a public trust, in this case, care of our parks, should purposely violate that charge, is incomprehensible," Hoyt wrote.

Mrs. Kennedy, meanwhile, said she wasn't sure if her group would need a permit from the Parks Department to conduct the candlelight procession. She said Delaware Council Member Alfred T. Coppola, who plans to address the gathering, assured her a permit was not needed.

"Walking around the lake is about as free as you can get," Coppola said.

The procession is designed to call attention to a number of allegations surrounding Delano, Mrs. Kennedy said, especially reports that Delano ordered the dumping of hazardous chemicals into the lake. Her group, which she said is dedicated to promoting economic and social justice, wants Mayor Griffin to suspend Delano, pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation into his activities.

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