Hardwick: Appeal on Nassau exec race happens Thursday

Former Freeport Mayor Andrew Hardwick speaks about his Former Freeport Mayor Andrew Hardwick speaks about his campaign for Nassau County Executive at the Nassau Supreme Court in Mineola. (Oct. 2, 2013) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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Former Freeport Mayor Andrew Hardwick, who last week was knocked off the ballot for Nassau County executive, Monday said his appeal is to be heard Thursday and paper ballots for the race cannot be printed until the case is decided.

Nassau State Supreme Court Justice F. Dana Winslow ruled on Oct. 10 that Hardwick's third-party petitions were "permeated with fraudulent practices" and that even though he may not have been personally involved, he was "intimately aware" of it.

The We Count Party candidate Monday attacked one major fraud example cited by Winslow -- the illegal payment of money for each signature collected.

Winslow "never allowed us to submit evidence to clear up this accusation," Hardwick said on the steps of the closed State Supreme Court building in Mineola, surrounded by about two dozen supporters.

He went on to deny that he had paid $1.25 for each signature, and said he had supporting evidence that he expected to present to the appeals panel on Thursday.

Nassau County Democratic leadership had challenged the third-party run of Hardwick, who was defeated for re-election as mayor in March. They say he is attempting to siphon votes from their candidate, former County Executive Thomas Suozzi.

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Nassau Democratic leader Jay Jacobs said: "Again, as with his phony [petition] signatures, Hardwick's trying to make something out of nothing."

Nassau's Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner William Biamonte said, "We hope that we have a decision on Thursday, so that we can start printing ballots Friday. We're already behind schedule."

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