Former Great Neck Park District commissioner candidate Gordon Charlop, pictured...

Former Great Neck Park District commissioner candidate Gordon Charlop, pictured here, has asked a judge for access to absentee ballots and voting machine results from the December election he lost. Charlop filed a lawsuit seeking to have the results thrown out, but district officials said a state court has no standing in the matter and asked a judge to dismiss his claim. Credit: Danielle Silverman

A former Great Neck Park District commissioner candidate who sued to have the election he lost voided has asked for access to the race's absentee ballots and voting machine results — while acknowledging a judge can't otherwise intervene.

An attorney for Gordon Charlop, 65, also wrote in a Feb. 20 court motion that his client intends to turn those election-related items over to New York's attorney general and ask for an investigation.

The motion followed a Jan. 23 court filing from the park district that argued a State Supreme Court judge has no standing to interfere with the results of the December election and asked for the lawsuit's dismissal.

Park district attorney Andrew Luskin said in a statement Wednesday the district is preparing its reply to last month's motion in which “Charlop acknowledged that he has no legal right to seek invalidation of the recent Park District election, and withdrew his request to do so.”

Luskin said the district also will address “the remaining issue concerning access to election records” and “the pending motion to dismiss the petition.”

Charlop's December lawsuit alleged the election that incumbent Tina Stellato won was “unfair,” “biased” and involved “illegal” absentee ballot procedures. It asked a judge to void the result, set a new election, turn over election materials and order an investigation.

The recent 10-page motion from Charlop's attorney, Jonathan Silver, acknowledged state law says New York's attorney general is “the sole authority to seek certain relief requested” but asked a judge to grant the “undeniable” right “to examine ballots and voting machines.”

Silver added in an interview: “We’re asking to get access to the absentee ballots … I think that’s where there is a lot of uncertainty and real questions.”

At the heart of Charlop's lawsuit is an allegation that the absentee ballot application the park district provided to voters was improper for a number of reasons, making the use of absentee ballots “entirely suspect.”

Other allegations in the lawsuit regarding those ballots include:

That Charlop's campaign manager was improperly limited to obtaining 10 absentee ballot applications at a time, , That the district refused to accept an unspecified number of absentee ballots because of the size of the paper they were printed on, and, That the absentee ballot application allowed for ballots to be distributed to people who may not have qualified for one,.

The final vote tally of the Dec. 12 election that Charlop lost was 1,580-710, according to the park district. Charlop, who works as managing director for Manhattan investment firm Rosenblatt Securities, has said 861 of Stellato's votes came from absentee ballots and he received 69 such votes.

While the park district’s previous motion to dismiss asked the court to deny Charlop's lawsuit in its entirety, it also asked that portions of election materials be redacted to “preserve voter anonymity” if a judge granted Charlop a chance to inspect election items.

The district also is in the midst of defending against an unrelated federal lawsuit that park district supervisor Scott MacDonald, 54, filed in February. It alleges two top district officials retaliated against him after he endorsed an outside candidate for a commissioner seat in a 2022 election.

MacDonald is seeking a declaration that the district unlawfully retaliated against him, along with damages for reasons including lost compensation and emotional pain and suffering. District officials previously didn't respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit.

In the Charlop case, State Supreme Court Justice Eileen C. Daly-Sapraicone previously ordered the parties back before her on March 13. 

A former Great Neck Park District commissioner candidate who sued to have the election he lost voided has asked for access to the race's absentee ballots and voting machine results — while acknowledging a judge can't otherwise intervene.

An attorney for Gordon Charlop, 65, also wrote in a Feb. 20 court motion that his client intends to turn those election-related items over to New York's attorney general and ask for an investigation.

The motion followed a Jan. 23 court filing from the park district that argued a State Supreme Court judge has no standing to interfere with the results of the December election and asked for the lawsuit's dismissal.

Park district attorney Andrew Luskin said in a statement Wednesday the district is preparing its reply to last month's motion in which “Charlop acknowledged that he has no legal right to seek invalidation of the recent Park District election, and withdrew his request to do so.”

Luskin said the district also will address “the remaining issue concerning access to election records” and “the pending motion to dismiss the petition.”

Charlop's December lawsuit alleged the election that incumbent Tina Stellato won was “unfair,” “biased” and involved “illegal” absentee ballot procedures. It asked a judge to void the result, set a new election, turn over election materials and order an investigation.

The recent 10-page motion from Charlop's attorney, Jonathan Silver, acknowledged state law says New York's attorney general is “the sole authority to seek certain relief requested” but asked a judge to grant the “undeniable” right “to examine ballots and voting machines.”

Silver added in an interview: “We’re asking to get access to the absentee ballots … I think that’s where there is a lot of uncertainty and real questions.”

At the heart of Charlop's lawsuit is an allegation that the absentee ballot application the park district provided to voters was improper for a number of reasons, making the use of absentee ballots “entirely suspect.”

Other allegations in the lawsuit regarding those ballots include:

  • That Charlop's campaign manager was improperly limited to obtaining 10 absentee ballot applications at a time, 
  • That the district refused to accept an unspecified number of absentee ballots because of the size of the paper they were printed on, and
  • That the absentee ballot application allowed for ballots to be distributed to people who may not have qualified for one.

The final vote tally of the Dec. 12 election that Charlop lost was 1,580-710, according to the park district. Charlop, who works as managing director for Manhattan investment firm Rosenblatt Securities, has said 861 of Stellato's votes came from absentee ballots and he received 69 such votes.

While the park district’s previous motion to dismiss asked the court to deny Charlop's lawsuit in its entirety, it also asked that portions of election materials be redacted to “preserve voter anonymity” if a judge granted Charlop a chance to inspect election items.

The district also is in the midst of defending against an unrelated federal lawsuit that park district supervisor Scott MacDonald, 54, filed in February. It alleges two top district officials retaliated against him after he endorsed an outside candidate for a commissioner seat in a 2022 election.

MacDonald is seeking a declaration that the district unlawfully retaliated against him, along with damages for reasons including lost compensation and emotional pain and suffering. District officials previously didn't respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit.

In the Charlop case, State Supreme Court Justice Eileen C. Daly-Sapraicone previously ordered the parties back before her on March 13. 

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