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Dumping charges dismissed in Asharoken

Charges against Asharoken resident Drew Mendelsohn have been dropped, nine months after he was summonsed twice for leaving garbage, collected from a wetland during a volunteer coastal cleanup, on his property for pickup.

"All I wanted to do was participate in the cleanup . . and they persecuted me," Mendelsohn said outside Village Hall shortly after the Wednesday night dismissal.

The village was represented by Laure Nolan, who is temporarily working for Asharoken while it decides on a new attorney. Nolan asked Murray Schwartz, the village's associate justice, to dismiss the case.

"If it went to trial, I don't think it would be successful," Nolan said about why she made her motion. She also said it was a minor case, and after talking to village police officers didn't think the charges could be sustained.

Mendelsohn agreed to withdraw his notice of claim against the village. The notice of claim preserves someone's right to sue, said his attorney, Ed Yule of Northport.

On Oct. 1, Mendelsohn participated in the village's coastal cleanup day by wading in Duck Island Cove and removing large pieces of plastic webbing, boat parts and an old village sign. He placed the debris on his personal beach parking lot to be picked up by the village. He was served with two summonses the next day for depositing garbage on his lot and for leaving garbage out the night before a collection, each carrying a maximum $250 fine.

Mendelsohn said he couldn't load the debris into his Honda Accord coupe to take to Village Hall. He said village officials and coastal cleanup organizers told him it would be fine if he left the large items by the side of the road for Monday's trash pickup. Former village attorney Kenneth Savin disputed that account and said Mendelsohn was told he couldn't do it.

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