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Garbage pileup charges against Hempstead code officer dismissed

Officials charged Roy Gunther Jr., a municipal code

Officials charged Roy Gunther Jr., a municipal code enforcement officer, with letting garbage and construction debris accumulate outside his Oceanside home, seen on July 17, 2017. Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

Charges filed against a Hempstead Town municipal code officer for allegedly allowing construction debris and garbage to pile up outside his Oceanside home were dismissed Tuesday as long as he doesn’t commit any other offenses by the end of the year.

The violation filed in May against Roy Gunther Jr. was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal during a court appearance Tuesday in Nassau County District Court in Hempstead before Judge William Hohauser.

For the case to be officially dismissed, Gunther cannot commit any other crimes or offenses through Dec. 31.

Gunther was charged by the town in May with a violation for the debris accumulation, which was related to repairs to his home from damage caused by superstorm Sandy.

Gunther, who was suspended without pay for five days in August from his town job as a “code enforcement officer III,” is being represented by attorney Michael Elbaz. The town hired a special prosecutor, Jeffrey Schwartz of the Garden City law firm Jaspan Schlesinger, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest in the proceedings against one of its own employees.

The disposition was negotiated in mid-October but the case was adjourned in November until Tuesday “through no fault of the defendant,” Schwartz said in court, adding that attorneys on both sides had agreed to shorten the typical six-month time frame to dismissal to several weeks.

Town spokesman Mike Deery said the town has not yet been billed for Schwartz’s services and declined to speak about Gunther’s case.

“We have no comment on the dismissal,” he said. “We don’t comment on internal personnel matters.”

Gunther’s other summonses were dropped because the inspector wrote the wrong date on the ticket for failing to have a permit to disconnect a gas meter.

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