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Northport trustee Tom Kehoe receives county wastewater violation

Tom Kehoe, right, Northport former deputy mayor and

Tom Kehoe, right, Northport former deputy mayor and current village trustee, shaking hands with constituents and supporters, says he will not resign. Credit: Johnny Milano

Suffolk County has issued a notice of violation against Northport trustee Tom Kehoe for work on his property that did not have county health department approval and for a septic system that was installed without a county permit.

The violations, issued May 8, came a day after fellow trustees and village residents called for Kehoe to resign after the Northport Zoning Board of Appeals found code violations at the construction on his Mariners Lane property.

"Upon learning that there was a violation at 51 Mariners Lane, Mr. Kehoe and his architect immediately contacted Suffolk County Department of Health Services," Brian Finnegan, a spokesman for Kehoe, said in an email statement. "They have reapplied with the Department of Health Services for review and will be cooperating with the department throughout the process."

The construction on his property was issued a stop-work order April 17 after the village zoning board of appeals issued a decision finding the foundation and side entrance noncompliant with his submitted plans. The zoning board of appeals was scheduled to hold a hearing on Kehoe's application Wednesday .

Kehoe said in a phone interview last week that he looked forward to correcting the Northport-issued violations and moving forward with both the construction and his political career on the Northport board. He resigned the title of deputy mayor last month, but said he would not resign as trustee.

"No, I'm not stepping down. I've got a lot of things already in the works for the village, and I intend to stay on to do that," he said.

At the May 7 village board meeting, Kehoe apologized for the zoning board violations as other trustees criticized his actions.

"Mr. Kehoe is an elected official. I can't legally force him to resign. I don't have that right," Mayor Damon McMullen said at the meeting. "But as a private citizen, yes, I think he should." McMullen did not respond to requests for comment about the new county violations. 

Kehoe's construction application is now under the jurisdiction of the village's zoning board, McMullen said.

Trustee Mercy Smith said she thought Kehoe should leave the board. "I think it's time for Tom to step down," she said to applause at the meeting.

Trustees Jerry Maline and Ian Milligan said they were disappointed in Kehoe's actions but stopped short of calling for his resignation.

Kehoe said in the phone interview that he didn't "take it personally" when the two fellow trustees called for his resignation.

"Sometimes it's very difficult for your political colleagues to stand with you on certain things, but I understand that," he said.

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