Suffolk County Legis. Rudolph Sunderman was scheduled to hold a fundraiser Sunday at a dance studio where he paid for his daughter’s lessons with money the county district attorney's office said he made illegally by setting up a shell corporation so he could work for the Centereach Fire Department.
Sunderman (R-Shirley) sent out solicitations for a $30-a-head fundraiser at Legworks Dance Studio in Mastic, located in the same complex as Sunderman’s legislative office. The event also offers sponsorship at the $700 gold level, $500 silver level and $300 bronze level.
Sunderman was indicted earlier this month on nine counts of perjury and other charges connected with setting up a shell company in the name of his wife to continue working as Centereach Fire district manager at $10,000 a month.
District Attorney Tim Sini said dance lessons for his daughter were among the expenses Sunderman paid with money he made from the fire district.
According to the charges, Sunderman set up the shell firm after stating he would comply with a ruling by the Suffolk Board of Ethics that he could not hold another local government job after taking office as a county lawmaker. Sunderman, also a volunteer Mastic fire chief, called the charges a “political attack” and vowed to fight them.
His attorney, Ray Perini, called the charges against Sunderman without merit. Perini said county law only covers those working in another level of government, while Sunderman worked for a consulting firm, not the fire district.