TOH Takes Legal Action Over Toxic Chemical Found in Water Wells
The Town of Hempstead filed a lawsuit in United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York to hold industrial manufacturers accountable for the costs of removing 1,4-dioxane, a highly toxic chemical, from the town’s drinking-water wells.
The town alleges that Dow Chemical Company, Ferro Corporation, and Vulcan Materials Company knowingly and willfully manufactured, promoted, and/or sold products containing 1,4- dioxane to local consumers, when they knew or should have known that this harmful chemical would inevitably infiltrate local water supply wells.
The Town of Hempstead operates 29 active public wells serving a population of approximately 120,000 people. Those wells are either contaminated or threatened by 1,4-dioxane contamination spreading throughout the aquifer system from which the Town draws its drinking water.
“The Town of Hempstead has already begun taking action to ensure that this toxic chemical won’t harm our residents, but the costs associated with cleaning up this mess should not be borne by our taxpayers,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen.
The Town of Hempstead is seeking damages to cover the cost of building and operating new water treatment facilities equipped with the ability to rid 1,4-dioxane from the Town’s water supply, as well as punitive damages in order to sufficiently punish the alleged polluters.
“Clean, safe drinking water is a human right and those who threaten that right will have to pay the price,” said Supervisor Gillen.
TOH Supervisor Announces Findings of Investigation of Beach-Side Catering Business
Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen held a press conference to announce the findings of her office’s investigation into the Sands on Lido Beach, a private beach-side catering hall owned by the Town and run by a politically connected vendor that is located on an over $60 million piece of public property.
The findings, among other things, show that the vendor does not have a contract with the Town and has been operating the private beach-side catering business at great expense to local taxpayers.
Supervisor Gillen announced that the town will reclaim the facility in the name of the taxpayers, is actively soliciting potential redevelopment ideas from the public, and is turning over evidence to the proper authorities.
Over the summer, FBI officials subpoenaed records on the same vendor who runs Hempstead’s popular Malibu Beach Park right next door to the Sands on Lido Beach. A subsequent investigation by Newsday exposed that the vendor has not been paying its bills to the town and had paid over $1 million to Nassau County Republican Committee Chair Joe Cairo and his son for consulting work at the facility.
Laura Gillen Files NYS Campaign Finance Complaint Against Don Clavin
Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen filed a complaint with the New York State Board of Elections against GOP candidate Don Clavin for failing to publicly disclose his campaign’s legally required fundraising statements to the public. Gillen requested that the Board of Elections “compel” her opponent to come clean on the funding sources behind his smear campaign for town supervisor, which was legally due last Friday.
“My opponent wants to be Supervisor, yet can’t even file a simple disclosure form,” said Gillen. “It’s suspicious that my opponent is the only candidate out of his entire ticket to not publicly disclose the sources of his campaign fundraising. Who is really funding his negative, misinformation campaign for supervisor?”
Supervisor Gillen proudly raised $239,624.08 in her most recent campaign filing and has raised a total of $1.6 million this cycle.
Recent contributions to Gillen’s campaign include $5,000 from former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, $10,000 from Congresswoman Kathleen Rice, and $5,000 from the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.
“I am proud of my broad base of support and believe in full transparency,” said Gillen. “It’s a shame that my opponent is unwilling to follow the same, simple rules that everyone else follows.”
In Clavin’s July campaign finance filing, it was revealed that he had taken in over 40% of his individual contributions directly from Town of Hempstead employees. This stands in stark contrast to Laura Gillen’s pledge to not take any campaign contributions from employees in the Town of Hempstead.
“The corrupt political machine is alive and well in the Town of Hempstead, Gillen Campaign Manager Michael Ousley said. “Laura Gillen is fighting against the corruption tax every day and leading by example in order to do it.”
Democrats Condemn Nassau GOP for Nominating ‘Machine Cog’ to Replace King-Sweeney
The Nassau County Democratic Committee criticized the Nassau GOP’s decision to nominate Seaford GOP Committeeman Christopher Carini, calling the move “desperate” and a “transparent” attempt to install a party “yes-man” who has donated thousands of dollars in recent months to the Nassau Republican Party and now his fellow running mates on the Hempstead GOP ticket.
“Their new candidate is more of the same,” said Party Spokesperson Chris Melnyczuk. “He’s just another big Republican donor who bought his way to the nomination.”
Webster pointed to more than $1,600 of donations Carini made to Nassau GOP boss Joe Cairo and his fellow running mates, including Clavin and Murray, since May of this year. The $1,675 accounts for more than 91 percent of Carini’s political donations. Prior to May of 2019, State Board of Elections records show that Carini had only donated $145 to local candidates.
“The Nassau GOP is flailing and unable to recruit anyone outside of their corrupt machine to run for office,” said Nassau Democratic Chair Jay Jacobs. “Lora Webster is a breath of fresh air in a town that is suffocating from corruption.”
“I am running against the pay-to-play culture of corruption that has permeated Hempstead Town government for far too long,” said Webster. “I am proud to stand alongside Supervisor Gillen in her fight to clean up Town Hall.”