Oyster Bay Town concessionaire Ravinder Chopra expects to have his guilty plea on a drunk driving charge with a child in his car reduced to a misdemeanor next month, following the completion of a treatment program, his lawyer said Monday.
“At the end of the program, that will be in June on his next court date, the felony will be dismissed” and downgraded to a misdemeanor, said Chopra’s attorney, Nancy Bartling of Mineola-based law firm LaRusso, Conway & Bartling.
A Nassau District Attorney spokesman confirmed Monday that Chopra was in a program under which such charges would be reduced upon successful completion. That program includes an ignition interlock system on his car, breath retesting, and enrollment in a drunk driving program, Bartling said.
Chopra, of New Hyde Park, was stopped while driving with a 6-year-old child in his car at a sobriety checkpoint after midnight on May 17, 2014, Newsday previously reported. He was charged under Leandra’s Law - aggravated driving while intoxicated and endangering the welfare of a child. He pleaded guilty on June 15, 2015, court records show.
Chopra is a one of the owners of S.R.B. Convention & Catering, Inc., which runs the Woodlands catering hall at the town golf course. The Oyster Bay Town Board had been expected to vote Tuesday to modify the existing concessions agreement but late Monday it was unclear whether a vote would take place. In February, Town Supervisor John Venditto said that investors in the town’s concessions would need to pass background checks.
Changes in the concession agreements are expected to remove disputed loan guarantees and to remove members of indicted restauratuer Harendra Singh’s family from ownership in the companies operating the Woodlands and Tobay Baech. Newsday has reported that the lender, The Phoenix Companies, has demanded the town pay $14.6 million under the guarantees after those companies defaulted.
Phoenix is one of many creditors trying to collect from Singh’s companies. One of those creditors, Glendale Bake Shop in Freeport, sued Singh’s H.R. Singletons restaurant and was awarded $5,141 in small claims court on Feb. 2 in district court in Hempstead, records show.
The bakery’s owner, Asif Sheikh, said he is also owed $22,000 from the Woodlands for pastries and wedding cakes.
“I need the money because I’m a very small operation,” Sheikh said in an interview.
Sheikh said when he spoke to Chopra in December about getting paid Chopra threatened him, he alleged in a report filed on Dec. 4, 2015, with the Freeport police.
No charges were filed against Chopra, Deputy Chief Michael Smith said, because Sheikh said he was not in fear of Chopra.
Chopra did not respond to queries about Sheikh.
Bartling said she was not familiar with Sheikh’s allegations. Town officials did not respond to questions about Chopra.