Former Smithtown Highway Superintendent Glenn Jorgensen was sentenced Friday to 560 hours of community service and 3 years’ probation for falsifying documents on a cold-weather paving project in November 2014.
Jorgensen, 64, of St. James, pleaded guilty in October to a felony charge of offering a false instrument for filing, and a misdemeanor charge of official misconduct as part of a plea deal with the Suffolk County district attorney’s office. The plea agreement called for 4 months in jail or 560 hours of community service.
Jorgensen appeared before state Supreme Court Justice Mark Cohen in Riverhead, who upheld the plea agreement and ordered the community service in lieu of jail time. He also sentenced Jorgensen to 3 years’ probation on the misdemeanor charge and ordered him to pay a mandatory surcharge of $375 within the next 90 days.
Jorgensen said he thought Cohen’s sentence was fair.
“I was proud to serve the Town of Smithtown for over 40 years of service,” Jorgensen said. “I love my job and I regret that I had to resign. I take full responsibility for the actions that I have taken and I commend the residents that elected me twice for superintendent of highways.”
Cohen acknowledged Jorgensen’s 43 years of service to Smithtown but said he also engaged in corruption that “violated public trust.”
Prosecutors have said that Jorgensen directed a town employee to alter road construction reports to conceal his approval of Medford-based contractor Suffolk Asphalt Corp. paving at least eight Smithtown streets in freezing temperatures in November 2014, which did not meet state Department of Transportation standards, and submitted the false information to town officials.
Smithtown Councilman Edward Wehrheim said he thought the sentence was appropriate.
“It’s always sad when an elected official violates the public trust,” Wehrheim said. “I do not believe that Glenn Jorgensen intended any malice with what he did. I think it was just a mistake that he should have known better not to make.”
Supervisor Patrick Vecchio declined to comment on the sentencing and a spokesman for the Suffolk County district attorney’s office was not immediately available for comment.
Anthony La Pinta, Jorgensen’s Hauppauge-based criminal-defense attorney,
told the court that Jorgensen put his “heart and soul” into his job.
“At the end of the day, he did commit these crimes” and was “man enough” to deal with the consequences, La Pinta said. He
asked the court for a certificate of relief from civil disabilities
that he said “allows someone with a felony conviction or any conviction to maintain licensing and not be exempt from any other state licensing or other state qualifications.” This can include civil service or licenses needed, for example, to work as a land surveyor or real estate broker, he said.
La Pinta also asked for a condition of probation to permit Jorgensen to travel outside the state for health care treatment.
Cohen granted both requests — the first, pending submission of the request in writing and the second with a requirement that Jorgensen notify the probation department before travel.