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Brookhaven to terminate relationship with Harendra Singh

A couple walks past the Cedar Beach Bar

A couple walks past the Cedar Beach Bar & Grill, a concession owned by Harendra Singh at Cedar Beach in Mt. Sinai on Sept. 16, 2015. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

The Brookhaven Town board plans to vote Thursday to terminate a 20-year concessions agreement with Harendra Singh, who was arrested last week on charges related to the alleged bribing of a government official in Oyster Bay.

Brookhaven Town Attorney Annette Eaderesto, who recommended that the board exercise an option to end the arrangement, acknowledged the action is tied to Singh's legal woes.

"We are terminating, and we will secure it [the property]" at Cedar Beach, Eaderesto said.

Singh's company, BRS Concession Inc., bounced a check to the town this month for about $5,100, she said. The company pays an annual license fee that was set at $31,500 for 2015.

"We felt it was in the best interest of the town because of the recent headlines and out of an abundance of caution," Eaderesto said of the termination, which requires board approval.

Town officials signed an agreement in 2012 with Singh's BRS Concession Inc., to run the food operation in Mount Sinai.

"The town is trying to take advantage of a bad situation," said Howard Greenberg, Singh's lawyer, in an email. "The concession there is successful and my client intends to keep it going."

Singh was charged last week with 13 criminal counts in federal court, including bribing a government official in order to secure loan guarantees from the Town of Oyster Bay. The government official, not named in the charges, has been identified by sources as former deputy town attorney Frederick Mei, who recently resigned. Singh, of Laurel Hollow, pleaded not guilty and was released on a $5 million bond.

The Brookhaven Town issued a request for proposals for the concessions agreement in 2010 and officially awarded it to Singh's company in 2011.

That deal was begun during the term of former Supervisor Mark Lesko, who resigned in 2012. Lesko announced the opening of Singh's concession in a June 2010 news release -- two months before the RFP was issued.

Under the terms of the agreement, Singh was supposed to make $250,000 in capital improvements to the town owned-facility by 2013. Eaderesto said she is reviewing the work, but said it appeared about $200,000 of work was completed, including the addition of a deck. Greenberg said his client will confirm the value of the improvements.

If the board votes to terminate the contract, a notice will go out to Singh tomorrow, she said. A new request for proposals would then be issued.

Terminating the agreement could carry some costs.

Under the contract, Brookhaven may have to pay the cost of those improvements. The agreement with Singh has a profit-sharing provision, but the town would take a different approach going forward, she said. The town will get an appraisal and set licensing fees based on that without profit sharing, Eaderesto said.

The season is over, and a new concessionaire is expected to be in place by next summer. "We will have it open for the residents. It's very popular," Eaderesto said.

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