Smithtown affected by building depart...

Smithtown affected by building department probe -- Retirement, ...

There are 24 comments on the Newsday story from Apr 2, 2008, titled Smithtown affected by building department probe -- Retirement, .... In it, Newsday reports that:

In the wake of news that a prominent developer had pleaded guilty to bribing a former Smithtown building department official, town officials said the Suffolk district attorney's two-year corruption ...

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Selden, NY

#26 Apr 17, 2008
LIer wrote:
I used to love living here. Born & raised. My kids too. Now I can't wait to go. I know every place has problems, but at least it won't be some place I used to love turning into a pile of crap.
I know exactly what you mean i too was born and raised in east setauket now live in smithtown I also am sooooooooo disappointed in most hings that go on here on the island but it is still the best place to live.If you can afford it

Tenafly, NJ

#27 Apr 17, 2008
justified wrote:
<quoted text>
I know exactly what you mean i too was born and raised in east setauket now live in smithtown I also am sooooooooo disappointed in most things that go on here on the island but it is still the best place to live.If you can afford it
Agreed, just don't know if it's worth it anymore. Might be time for a new adventure.
The Point

Bronx, NY

#28 Jun 23, 2008
Smithtown ex-pol loses suit over $3,500 ethics fine
BY STACEY ALTHERR | [email protected]
June 23, 2008
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Digg Facebook Fark Google Newsvine Reddit Yahoo Print Reprints Post comment Text size: Former Smithtown Councilwoman Joanne Gray recently lost her lawsuit to stop the town's board of ethics from fining her $3,500 because of its decision that she used town resources to send out a political mailing while still in office.

The decision by Supreme Court Justice Denise F. Molia said the ethics board had the right to assess the penalty. "Based upon a review of the record of the proceedings, which were conducted without the participation of petitioner upon her own choice, the court does not find the decision of the Board of Ethics to be arbitrary, capricious and/or improper," Molia wrote.

Gray has said in the past that she didn't testify in the May hearing because the ethics board was "very selective and very political, and I have no confidence in their process."

Reached last week, her attorney and husband, Larry Gray, said she will not pay the fine, despite the judge's decision.

"She did nothing wrong," he said.

In November 2006, Joanne Gray sent a town-paid mailing to residents on a marina waiting list, using town stationery as well as the services of an employee, as reminders to residents about the availability of state-owned boating slips. In the mailing, she included a refrigerator magnet paid for with personal and campaign funds.

The idea of the letter, Gray said at the time, was to inform people of the availability of the slips. Two town board members at odds with Gray - Edward Wehrheim and Thomas McCarthy - called the mailing campaigning with town funds and alerted both the ethics board and the Suffolk County district attorney's office.

Town Attorney Yvonne Lieffrig recused herself, and the law firm of Sahn, Ward and Baker LLPC from Uniondale represented the ethics board.

Tom McKevitt, a state assemblyman and an attorney who specializes in municipal law and represented the ethics board, said he was happy with the decision.

"We worked many hours on this case," said McKevitt (R-East Meadow) about the ethics board hearing. "They took their jobs very, very seriously." He added that the ethics board will now look at legal options to enforce the payment of the penalty.

Gray, who in the past few years became alienated from the rest of the town board, lost a contentious primary in September.

Huntington, NY

#29 Jun 30, 2008
I've seen permits issued for building construction clearly out of zone. I've seen reputable builders vow never to build in Smithtown again because of mandates for bribes. I've personally experienced harassment and an inspector comment "my life would be hell" when a surprise inspection on my property was done without the inspector realizing that I indeed did have a permit. I've seen supervisor Vecchio rude to residents who complained in town board meetings. I've seen neighbors bring in dozens of truckloads of fill with no permits to disrupt natural drainage (flood my yard)and have the building department tell me to "get a lawyer." This is not government of the people. It is government tax payer subsidized graft. Plain and simple. The entire city government and building department needs to be replaced.

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