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Democrats escalate battle over Shawn Cullinane petitions

Lindenhurst Village Clerk Shawn Cullinane in Lindenhurst on

Lindenhurst Village Clerk Shawn Cullinane in Lindenhurst on Feb. 7, 2012. Credit: Judy Cartwright

Democrats have escalated their battle over allegedly bogus petitions gathered by Lindenhurst Village administrator Shawn Cullinane by hiring a forensic handwriting expert to review signatures.

Sanford Berland, the Democrats’ attorney, sent a letter to the village board on Dec. 24 with an accompanying report from Richard Picciochi of Access Forensic Group. Picciochi found by checking mortgage records that at least four signatures on council district referendum petitions that Cullinane witnessed were not signed by the person claimed.

Berland said Picciochi’s findings should “greatly heighten the concerns” of village officials since Cullinane is the legal overseer of village elections.

Cullinane called the statements false and libelous and produced affidavits from those involved saying their signatures were valid. Berland, however, said he has sent Picciochi’s report to the state attorney general and the Suffolk district attorney for possible action.

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