Edward Perkowski Sr., formerly of Mount Sinai, is suing Brookhaven...

Edward Perkowski Sr., formerly of Mount Sinai, is suing Brookhaven over the town’s condemnation of the home he was renting. Credit: Ed Perkowski Sr./courtesy of Ray Negron

Jury selection is set to start Monday in connection with a $7 million federal civil rights lawsuit against Brookhaven Town officials who condemned a former Mount Sinai resident's home after his son's arrest on weapon charges.

Edward Perkowski Sr., 73, told Newsday he sued the town after he was forced to move and lost cash, a watch and other belongings when town officials boarded up the single-family house he was renting on Miller Place-Middle Island Road and threatened to have him arrested if he tried to return without permission. 

Perkowski, a Vietnam veteran who now lives in Bedford, Pennsylvania, is seeking $7 million in compensatory and punitive damages in Brooklyn federal court. 

“I had a lot of hopes for that house," Perkowski said Thursday in an online Zoom interview. "I thought I would die there and be buried at Calverton [National Cemetery]. … This wasn’t a good experience.”

Brookhaven spokesman Jack Krieger said in an email the town "does not comment on matters of litigation."

Perkowski's lawyer, Raymond Negron of Mount Sinai, said the house had been owned by a Brookhaven Town employee when Perkowski lived there. Court papers said it was later sold as part of a foreclosure proceeding.

Brookhaven building inspectors entered the house on June 16, 2016, after Suffolk County police arrested Perkowski's son, Edward Jr., then 29, on weapons possession charges. At a news conference, Suffolk authorities displayed Nazi paraphernalia they said had been recovered from the home and said they had seized rifles, pistols, shotguns and a binder containing bomb-making instructions.

Perkowski Jr. was acquitted of all charges a year later. 

In court papers filed as part of the lawsuit, town officials said they had inspected the house at the request of Suffolk police. The town said in court papers the house was condemned because it was "a dangerous and dilapidated structure" with "a motorcycle in the basement as well as gas cans, a lawn mower, and a chain saw next to the boiler."

Court papers state Perkowski's landlord at the time was Wayne Duchnowski, who is not a defendant in the lawsuit. Negron said Duchnowski was a Brookhaven Highway Department employee at the time. Krieger said town officials could not confirm that. 

Perkowski, a retired truck driver and oil burner mechanic, had been in the third year of a 10-year lease when the house was condemned, court papers said. He spent $200,000 to make repairs and improvements as part of a deal with Duchnowski to reduce his rent, court papers said.

Weeks after the condemnation, Perkowski and his family were allowed to retrieve personal possessions but found that cash, savings bonds, furniture and clothing were damaged or missing, Negron said. He said he did not know who removed or damaged the items.

“The house was supposed to be ... his dream," Negron told Newsday. “They just robbed him of his senior years.”

Perkowski said losing the home left him "depressed."

"I had nothing. All my money was gone. … I had to ask for help from people, which I'm not that kind of a person.”

Jury selection is set to start Monday in connection with a $7 million federal civil rights lawsuit against Brookhaven Town officials who condemned a former Mount Sinai resident's home after his son's arrest on weapon charges.

Edward Perkowski Sr., 73, told Newsday he sued the town after he was forced to move and lost cash, a watch and other belongings when town officials boarded up the single-family house he was renting on Miller Place-Middle Island Road and threatened to have him arrested if he tried to return without permission. 

Perkowski, a Vietnam veteran who now lives in Bedford, Pennsylvania, is seeking $7 million in compensatory and punitive damages in Brooklyn federal court. 

“I had a lot of hopes for that house," Perkowski said Thursday in an online Zoom interview. "I thought I would die there and be buried at Calverton [National Cemetery]. … This wasn’t a good experience.”

Brookhaven spokesman Jack Krieger said in an email the town "does not comment on matters of litigation."

Perkowski's lawyer, Raymond Negron of Mount Sinai, said the house had been owned by a Brookhaven Town employee when Perkowski lived there. Court papers said it was later sold as part of a foreclosure proceeding.

Brookhaven building inspectors entered the house on June 16, 2016, after Suffolk County police arrested Perkowski's son, Edward Jr., then 29, on weapons possession charges. At a news conference, Suffolk authorities displayed Nazi paraphernalia they said had been recovered from the home and said they had seized rifles, pistols, shotguns and a binder containing bomb-making instructions.

Perkowski Jr. was acquitted of all charges a year later. 

In court papers filed as part of the lawsuit, town officials said they had inspected the house at the request of Suffolk police. The town said in court papers the house was condemned because it was "a dangerous and dilapidated structure" with "a motorcycle in the basement as well as gas cans, a lawn mower, and a chain saw next to the boiler."

Court papers state Perkowski's landlord at the time was Wayne Duchnowski, who is not a defendant in the lawsuit. Negron said Duchnowski was a Brookhaven Highway Department employee at the time. Krieger said town officials could not confirm that. 

Perkowski, a retired truck driver and oil burner mechanic, had been in the third year of a 10-year lease when the house was condemned, court papers said. He spent $200,000 to make repairs and improvements as part of a deal with Duchnowski to reduce his rent, court papers said.

Weeks after the condemnation, Perkowski and his family were allowed to retrieve personal possessions but found that cash, savings bonds, furniture and clothing were damaged or missing, Negron said. He said he did not know who removed or damaged the items.

“The house was supposed to be ... his dream," Negron told Newsday. “They just robbed him of his senior years.”

Perkowski said losing the home left him "depressed."

"I had nothing. All my money was gone. … I had to ask for help from people, which I'm not that kind of a person.”

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