Undated handout photo of Richard Baker, acting public works commissioner...

Undated handout photo of Richard Baker, acting public works commissioner for Islip Town. Credit: Handout

A Suffolk County judge has dismissed a harassment complaint brought by a former employee against Islip Town public works Commissioner Rich Baker.

In a one-page ruling, Judge Chris Ann Kelley of First District Court said the allegation raised by former town employee Michael Tomossone amounted to little more than "hearsay."

The long-simmering feud between the two men began during the 2009 election campaign when Tomossone, 43, of Islip Terrace, and now a legislative aide for state Assemb. Alfred Graf (R-Holbrook), was a town employee.

He and about a dozen others became convinced that Baker, 55, a Democrat, was doing campaign work on town time, leading to Tomossone being charged with second-degree harassment, based on photographing and tailing Baker in a bid to prove the group's claim. Baker subsequently won an order of protection against Tomossone.

In July, Tomossone filed a claim with the court alleging Baker had on several occasions since January 2009 showed up at events Tomossone attended in a bid to have him arrested for violating the order Baker won in December 2009.

Baker's attorney, Anthony LaPinta of Hauppauge, said Monday he and his client were "thrilled" about the dismissal. "This clearly was a case of retaliation brought by a disgruntled employee and filed in an attempt to impact town elections. I'm grateful a decision came down clearing Mr. Baker prior to the elections," he said.

Baker, who went on to be appointed public works commissioner by Supervisor Phil Nolan, said he and his family were pleased the "frivolous" allegations had been thrown out. "I won't be deterred from doing what's right in the performance of my duties with the town," he said.

Tomossone said Monday night he wanted to speak to his lawyer before commenting.

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