Defendants named in a $4 million federal racketeering suit brought by Islip Town over the illegal dumping at Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood argued Thursday that a federal judge should dismiss the complaints against them.
The suit, originally filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Central Islip in April 2016, once named more than three dozen people and companies, but U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Bianco this March dismissed a handful of the defendants, while allowing the town to file a new complaint.
Attorneys for some of the defendants, which include Thomas Datre Jr., who in 2016 pleaded guilty in First District Court in Central Islip to four felonies relating to the dumping in and around the Town of Islip, asked the judge Thursday to dismiss them from the case. Bianco heard oral arguments for some of the defendants Thursday but has not yet issued a decision on the requests.
Attorneys working for the town argued that the various parties engaged in an “enterprise” to unlawfully dump nearly 40,000 tons of contaminated construction debris on the soccer field and in a recharge basin at the park from July 2013 to April 2014 — leaving the town to cover the $4 million in cleanup costs.
But attorneys for some of the parties seeking dismissal argued that the town failed to make its various cases against the defendants, including failure to prove the existence of an “enterprise.”
Bianco granted dismissal earlier this year to leaders and members of a Brentwood church that had offered to rebuild the soccer fields at the park; Ronald Cianciulli and his company, Atlas Asphalt; as well as IEV Trucking Corp., and COD Services Corp.
In its amended complaint, the town sought to again pursue litigation against all of those defendants except for Cianciulli and Atlas Asphalt.
The town also is suing Datre Jr.’s parents, Thomas Datre Sr. and Clara Datre; multiple businesses owned by Datre Sr. and his wife; former town parks Commissioner Joseph J. Montuori Jr.; Christopher Grabe and his companies, Islandia Recycling and C.J. Site Development Inc.; and 10 unnamed “John Doe” defendants.
Suffolk prosecutors have called Datre Jr. the “mastermind” behind the dumping scheme at the park and three other sites: a 1-acre private lot in Central Islip, a six-home subdivision for veterans in Islandia, and a state-protected wetlands area in Deer Park. Datre Jr. was sentenced in April to 1 year in jail for each of the four class-E felonies to which he pleaded guilty in March 2016, to be served concurrently.