Case off justices’ plate

Newsday


After the Town of Southampton hired a “special prosecutor” to prosecute two criminal zoning violations charged against the manager of the Hampton Bays Diner, all four Southampton Justices recused themselves from the case, thereby requiring the Town to “borrow” a judge from the Town of Riverhead, to preside over the case before the Southampton Justice Court.

Although Town representatives failed to respond to an inquiry by defendants’ attorney, Andrew J. Campanelli, as to why the Town Board found it necessary to hire a Special Prosecutor to handle simple zoning code violations, Mr. Campanelli abstained from filing a motion to have the Special Prosecutor removed. Instead, the case went to trial.

When the trial was complete, all charges against Mr. Campanelli’s client were dismissed on the merits.