Huntington, Smithtown get Suffolk DA subpoenas on Sandy cleanup work

Sandy brings down a tree onto a car Sandy brings down a tree onto a car on Oakcrest Dr. in Huntington. (Oct. 29, 2012) Photo Credit: Peter Walden Sr.

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Huntington and Smithtown are the latest towns to receive grand jury subpoenas from the Suffolk County district attorney as investigations continue into Sandy-related cleanup work.

Town of Huntington spokesman A.J. Carter confirmed late Monday the town received a subpoena last Wednesday.

"We have received a subpoena . . . for records involving work performed in response to Hurricane Sandy and we're cooperating fully," Carter said.

Smithtown Town Clerk Vincent Puleo said Monday night a subpoena was served Thursday at Smithtown Town Hall.

Puleo said the town was asked to turn over "any and all records that have to do with the Sandy storm," including contracts and records of who was paid or hired for storm-related cleanup work.

He said the subpoena was referred to Town Attorney John Zollo because those records are stored in various town departments. Puleo said town officials may appear before a Suffolk grand jury as soon as Tuesday to verify that the records were obtained from town files.

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Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota confirmed last week his office began investigating local governments in early February. The Town of Islip was served March 12, Brookhaven and Babylon April 5.

Sources have said inquiries are focusing on whether proper wages were paid for the cleanup work, and how contractors were selected.

In Nassau County, District Attorney Kathleen Rice's office last month issued subpoenas as part of an investigation into how county officials entered into emergency contracts with companies doing storm cleanup.

Late last week, Newsday reported that state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has launched a probe into Sandy cleanup contracts issued on Long Island and how they were obtained.

The storm's wake has already seen millions of dollars in federal relief flow to the 13 affected New York counties, including Nassau and Suffolk.

The wide-ranging inquiries involve work costing tens of millions of taxpayer dollars -- much of it already reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Federal records show that as of March across Long Island, towns, villages and the counties had undertaken projects totaling $247.5 million, for which $178.1 million has been disbursed by the agency.

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