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Levy vetoes domestic violence registry bill

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy Thursday vetoed a bill that would have established an online domestic violence registry.

The veto comes as no surprise, as Levy's aides telegraphed his uneasiness with the legislation since it passed Nov. 17. The bill's author, Legis. DuWayne Gregory (D-Amityville), said he will seek to override the veto when the Legislature meets again in the new year.

The bill, passed on a 14-3 vote - enough for a potential veto override - would have created a Web site that included an offender's name, address and picture. Judges and probation officers would be responsible for submitting those convicted of domestic violence abuses to the registry.

In his veto message, Levy said he shared the concerns of a raft of organizations that advocate for domestic violence victims, which told legislators and Levy that the bill would compromise privacy for victims and lead fewer of them to report domestic violence incidents.

Though they did not attend the Legislature's public hearing about the proposal before the vote, advocates told Levy and lawmakers after the bill passed that they opposed the proposal.

"Domestic violence offenders more often than not share the same name and reside within the same house as their victim(s), leading to much less privacy and an increased concern of confidentiality," Levy wrote in his veto message.

Gregory said he is disappointed in the veto. "They're being shortsighted," he said. "I understand that some of the groups are against it, but the status quo is not enough."

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