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Cleanup deadline extended in Thomas Datre Jr. dumping case

A judge on Thursday, June 9, 2016, agreed

A judge on Thursday, June 9, 2016, agreed to extend the deadline for cleanup at a Central Islip lot, above, where contaminated materials were dumped, at the request of an attorney for Thomas Datre Jr. Credit: James Carbone

The deadline to remove contaminated construction and demolition debris from a Central Islip lot was pushed back Thursday after the attorney for a Suffolk man who agreed to the cleanup plan as part of his plea deal told a judge of a delay securing a site for proper disposal.

State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho granted the delay in Central Islip court at the request of Kevin Kearon, the Garden City attorney for Thomas Datre Jr., who pleaded guilty March 30 to dumping crimes at four Suffolk sites.

Christopher Grabe, whose case never made it to trial, pleaded guilty the same day for his role in dumping contaminated materials that ended up in Central Islip and Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood.

Both Datre Jr. and Grabe agreed to use their equipment and time to help clean up at properties where they admitted dumping. Camacho has deferred their prison sentences to allow time to complete the cleanups.

Kearon told Camacho in the judge’s courtroom that the private, 1-acre lot in Central Islip, as well as a sensitive wetlands area in Deer Park where trucks owned by Datre Jr. also dumped debris and other material, “should be fully remediated certainly by the end of summer and quite possibly well before then.”

The materials “will be taken off Long Island and disposed of at a properly authorized site with the full approval of site owners, site managers and would meet approval by both of New York State and designated state authorities. We have not yet concluded that application of site but we expect we’ll have that information very shortly.”

The delay comes after a May 13 conference between Kearon and Camacho where the judge set a June 27 deadline for Datre Jr. to clean up tons of fill laced with toxins from the Islip Avenue site, which sits at the corner of Sage Street.

Tommy Lau, the property owner and a businessman who owns and operates several coin-operated laundries in Islip Town, will help with the cleanup, Kearon said.

“All parties in connection with remediation of those two sites from my perspective have been meeting and . . . cooperating and I’m extremely encouraged that the actual removal will be underway very, very soon,” Kearon told Camacho Thursday.

The judge said he was “tremendously encouraged by the progress that the parties have made.” Camacho has overseen the case since a Dec. 8, 2014, indictment against Datre Jr. and five others in connection with the dumping scheme.

Datre Jr. has hired an engineer to work with the state Department of Environmental Conservation to come up with a cleanup plan for Deer Park, Kearon said. Camacho said the Town of Islip has started its planning process to help rehabilitate Clemente Park — locked and in disrepair for more than two years, and the largest town-owned park in the hamlet.

Datre Jr. and his father, Thomas Datre Sr., were the first of the six indicted to stand trial. Datre Jr. pleaded guilty to four felonies for dumping in Deer Park, Central Islip as well as Clemente Park and Veterans Way, a six-home subdivision in Islandia built for returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

Charges against Thomas Datre Sr. were dropped in exchange for his son’s guilty pleas.

On June 3, Camacho convicted Ronald Cianciulli of two felonies and two misdemeanors for his role in dumping at the Deer Park site.

Two defendants’ cases from the indictment remain open: former Islip Town Parks Commissioner Joseph J. Montuori Jr. and his former secretary, Brett A. Robinson. They are due in court for a conference with Camacho on June 23.

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