Patchogue’s Mayor Paul V. Pontieri Jr. accused of being “on the take? “

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One thought on “Patchogue’s Mayor Paul V. Pontieri Jr. accused of being “on the take? “”

  1. of you received our recent letter regarding Paul Pontieri’s unethical conduct and abandonment of the principles he ran on. Our letter should not have been a shock to our mayor, because we had counseled him on numerous occasions that his actions were violating the law. He ignored our repeated warnings and continued with his conduct.

    In a recent full page advertisement, our mayor admits to the conduct we informed you about. His letter is revealing because in it he presented untrue statements, rationalized his conduct, and never once apologizes for his actions.

    Regarding the hiring of his cousin, our mayor says that the Village’s previous cleaners “left through attrition.” That comment isn’t true. The same outside contractor has been cleaning Village Hall for close to 10 years at approximately $15,000 per year.

    Our mayor’s cousin will earn more than $40,000 per year plus health benefits. That will cost the taxpayers more than a million dollars over the life of the cousin’s employment. That’s why we voted against the cousin’s hiring. Our mayor admitted to us that this move was wrong but that he had “to do it for his family.”

    Our mayor admits that he accepted tickets to “three games over seven years but never with a developer….only my friend who is an engineer.” His “friend” is Frank Russo at H2M Engineering. H2M was contracted for over $700,000 in engineering fees in connection with the expansion of our sewer treatment plant. Both the Village Code and New York State Law makes it illegal for a public officer to accept these types of gifts from any person that has any business dealing with the Village.

    Our mayor claims that he sold his old Ford Explorer to his brother-in-law, and then coincidentally decided to immediately buy back this very old car when the village “was looking for” a brand new one. We knew nothing about this and the purchase of this vehicle was never presented to the Village Board for approval. Our Mayor admits that his brother-in-law made $500 on the transaction. General Municipal Law § 801 prohibits this conduct and state law authorizes removal of an elected official for violating this law.

    We were especially troubled when we recently learned that our mayor made a $150,000, 30-year interest free loan to Artspace. This loan was made without Village Board knowledge or approval. It is illegal for a village to loan or gift money to any private entity or to do so without board approval. The mayor says he made this decision out of necessity at closing but we have letters the mayor secretly sent to the developer promising the loan months before the closing.

    The residential developments in Patchogue enumerated by our mayor were the result of the entire Village Board’s vision and consensus. With the exception of Artspace, the fruits of this shared vision resulted in owner-occupied housing, which benefited both the village and the developer.

    For years, our mayor promised a true mixed used development of our Four Corners. Instead the boutique hotel was replaced by 291 rental units! Our mayor’s uncompromising allegiance to the developer dashed our hopes of creating a legacy project that would benefit our residents. We still have a vision for the redevelopment of the Four Corners to create a unique public benefit.

    As painful as the letter must have been for you to read, it was equally painful for us to inform you about these things. We didn’t write the letter for political reasons.

    The easy thing for us to do would have been to remain silent and continue to win reelection unopposed. We recognize that we are all uncomfortable about these happenings because this is a small town and many of us consider our mayor to be our friend.

    We reminded ourselves that it was Mayor Pontieri’s actions that brought us to this point, and that we weren’t elected to do the easy thing; we were elected to do the right thing. We thank the countless residents who have recognized this and have reached out to us with their support.

    Sincerely,

    Patchogue Village Deputy Mayor Steve McGiff

    Patchogue Village Trustee Gerry Crean

    Related Topics: Gerry Crean, Paul Pontieri, Steve McGiff, and Village of Patchogue

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