The Suffolk District Attorney’s Office has been an unusual presence in East Hampton of late, with two pending investigations.
Amos Goodman and Pat Mansir have been on the hot seat since December. Goodman, 35, of East Hampton, was the East Hampton Town Republican Party chairman when he allegedly submitted nominating petitions that contained at least 43 forgeries. He is facing a dozen felony counts of possession of a forged instrument and related charges.
Mansir, 72, a former East Hampton Town councilwoman, served as the chairwoman of the East Hampton Town Independence Party last year when doctored petitions were allegedly turned in the Board of Elections. She also faces numerous felony counts.
Elaine Jones, the head of the East Hampton Independence Party, said the party has hired attorney Steve Wilutis to represent Mansir and is hopeful her case will be resolved in the near future. Goodman’s case is more complicated because he is a licensed notary and swore to the validity of the petitions, she said. “Amos is in a little more trouble,” she said.
Last week Anthony Siviglia, a detective investigator, and Kevin Ward from the DA’s Public Integrity Office were in town, asking questions about another matter: an allegation that the office of the East Hampton Town Trustees had been bugged. In fact, a tape was distributed to local newspapers and others by an unidentified source purported to be culled from the clandestine recordings.
Jones said the DA is inquiring into who might have had access to the office to plant the bug and who had motive to do so. The conversation on those recordings also veered into a discussion about the controversial Duryea’s application in Montauk and the abrupt departure of former East Hampton Town Attorney Michael Sendlenski.
The attorney for the Town Trustees, Chris Carillo, explained that in New York State, a party to any conversation could tape it without the permission of others involved. In fact, any conversation can be taped by a participant even if no one else in the room is aware of it.
“It’s called a one-party consent state,” Carillo said. “But the person needs to be in the room.” In other words, planting a bug in a room and leaving means the content of the tape is not admissible in court.
Though it’s been reported there were numerous bugs found in the trustees’ office since late last year, Carillo said he does not know if that is the case. It’s also been reported the tapes have been edited or spliced. “It’s possible. I haven’t heard them,” the attorney said. He did confirm the DA’s office met with “several” trustees last week. In 2007, the DA’s office launched a wide-ranging investigation into the spending practices of the East Hampton Town Board after nearly $30 million disappeared. Members town budget office were arrested and the town supervisor, Bill McGintee, was forced to resign in October 2009.
Sheila Kelly, a spokeswoman for the DA, did not return phone calls by press time.
The board of elections employees, William Mann, 60, of Cutchogue and Gregory Dickerson, 55, of Mattituck, are also accused of filing nominating petitions for Green Party judicial candidates containing forged signatures.