Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Town of Hempstead Hit with Racketeering Lawsuit

From today's Newsday:

" Claiming that the town of Hempstead and its building department officials created a scheme that used a pattern of conspiracy and collusion, an attorney for a Hempstead resident filed a civil racketeering suit against the town and two of its employees.

The suit filed under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act – usually employed in organized crime cases -- says that the town, along with code enforcement officer Carmine Salute and Plumbers Examination Board member Anthony Disabato, participated in a "pattern of various and several acts of bribery, extortion, coercion, mail and wire fraud in exploitation of a conflict of interest."

The allegations stem from complaints by Baldwin resident Janice Crippen that Hempstead building inspectors ignored repeated requests to examine botched plumbing work at her home. She said they then advised her to bring her complaint to Disabato, who in addition to being a member of the complaint board, held the plumbing permit for renovations being done at her home.

She claims that Salute covered up for Disabato by falsely claiming he inspected the plumbing and approved it.

Salute "was never in my house," Crippen said."

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