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Long IslandColumnistsRick Brand

Complaint against Suffolk Legis. Robert Trotta deemed 'unfounded'

A legislative aide had filed a workplace violence complaint against Trotta after a dispute at a copy machine.

Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) is seen at

Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) is seen at a Suffolk County Legislature meeting on Dec. 5, 2017. Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Suffolk Legislative aide Robert Fonti’s complaint of workplace violence against Legis. Robert Trotta has been determined to be “unfounded,” and the case has been closed without further action.

The final report went only to presiding officer DuWayne Gregory, who said the approximately 50-page review will not be released to protect the confidentiality of eight to 10 witnesses.

Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) released a one page “notification of final report,” with its “unfounded” conclusion. But he says he believes Fonti should be fired, saying he pilfered a paper Trotta was copying last year and lied about it.

Unlike Fonti, Trotta refused to sign the notification because it included a statement: “Retaliation: Suffolk County has no tolerance policy prohibiting retaliation against a complainant or witness. If you believe you have experience retaliation please contact your investigator to file a complaint.”

Trotta said he only would sign the notification if it made clear his call for Fonti’s firing was not retaliation but a response to his initial “stealing of . . . paperwork and . . . lying” about it.

Fonti, who said Trotta physically accosted him, said he’s “apologized for the confusion” at the copying machine. He said he appreciated that his concerns were reviewed, and “respects the conclusion” the incident “did not rise to the legal threshold of workplace violence.” Fonti said he will “put this matter behind me” and hopes Trotta “will do the same.”

Legis. Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore), the minority leader, said Fonti should face “serious consequences” for “original theft” of documents and making “false allegations” against Trotta, now deemed “unfounded.

Gregory (D-Copiague) declined to discuss possible disciplinary action against Fonti.

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