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Call it payback -- Patchogue style.
Starting early, village Mayor Paul Pontieri two weeks ago headlined a $250 a head breakfast fundraiser for village justice candidate Patricia K. Romeo who is looking to take on Pontieri's former ally, now nemesis, Village Justice Christopher McGuire, next March. The event raised nearly $12,000.
McGuire’s wife, Elizabeth, two years ago ran to unseat Pontieri in a bare knuckles race. Pontieri won with 60 percent of the vote.
“You can disagree with people on issues but you trust it's for the right reasons,” he said. “I can’t trust that his decisions in court are not personal or political. He’s a terribly political person.”
McGuire, in his 12th year as justice, maintains he was not involved in his wife’s race and maintained he has always acted independently and treated those who appear in his court fairly and impartially. He said Romeo may be “well intentioned,” but said she is “grossly unqualified” because she has no experience in criminal or traffic matters.
Of Pontieri’s comments, McGuire added, “He can’t trust me because he can’t influence me.”