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David Denenberg robocalls prompt GOP worries

Former Nassau Legis. David Denenberg leaves federal court in Central Islip on June 5, 2015. / Ed Betz

To some wary Nassau Republicans, it looked like former Democratic County legislator David Denenberg of Merrick was testing the waters for a political comeback last week when he sent robocalls into South Shore communities that included his former legislative district.

After serving for 15 years on the county legislature, Denenberg resigned his 19th District seat in January 2015 when he pleaded...

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To some wary Nassau Republicans, it looked like former Democratic County legislator David Denenberg of Merrick was testing the waters for a political comeback last week when he sent robocalls into South Shore communities that included his former legislative district.

After serving for 15 years on the county legislature, Denenberg resigned his 19th District seat in January 2015 when he pleaded guilty to overbilling a private law client for more than $2 million. He made restitution and was sentenced in June 2015 to three months in prison, three months home detention and three years supervised release. He also forfeited his law license.

But Denenberg, also an engineer, said last week his automated call concerned New York American Water, not personal politics.

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The call invited people to a rally at the Merrick golf course to push the public takeover of the private water company that has been under fire for raising rates and overcharging customers. He said more than 150 people attended.

An engineer, Denenberg had started in public life by working on environmental causes and he returned to environmental activism in 2016, co-founding the community group called Long Island Clean Air Water and Soil.

Last week’s robocall, he said, was his fifth concerning either clean up of the Bethpage pollution plume or public takeover of American Water.

Denenberg declined to comment on whether the robocalls also signal a possible political comeback.

“I’m fighting for the environmental and water resource issues I’ve always fought for,” he said.

Denenberg is still on supervised release.