Shawn Cullinane, Lindenhurst Village clerk and treasurer, is rebutting allegations that he may have improperly witnessed signatures on referendum petitions by producing signed affidavits from eight people whose signatures were may have been by others.
Cullinane, in a letter to Democratic attorney Sandy Berland, called the accusations “totally false, without merit and libelous.” Cullinane, a Republican, demanded that Berland “immediately withdraw your accusations in writing and issue a public apology, not only to me but the eight individuals you . . . maligned.”
Berland had written to Lindenhurst’s mayor and village board raising questions about whether the signatures of four of the individuals who purportedly signed petitions may have actually have been those of another person living at the same address. Berland, whose wife Susan Berland is a Huntington Town board member, had represented opponents of proposed council districts in Babylon.
Cullinane said while Berland has “the right to engage in a partisan attack,” he has “a duty and responsibility particularly as an attorney to do so with reasonable accuracy.” Cullinane said four of those who signed letters were senior citizens and others were average working people who under law are not considered public figures. By sending the letter to the village mayor, Cullinane said, Berland “created a public document, thereby subjecting these eight individuals to unwarranted persecution in the public arena.”