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Attorney for Veterans Way homeowners says Islandia is 'stonewalling' requests for information

The completed excavation of the polluted berm on

The completed excavation of the polluted berm on Veterans Way in Islandia is seen in this photo from Dec. 24, 2014. Credit: Ed Betz

An attorney for five of the six homeowners at a subdivision in Islandia says the village is "stonewalling" his attempts to collect information to determine who is responsible for the dumping of contaminated materials at the site.

The Veterans Way subdivision was built for returning veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The attorney, Peter Creedon of Northport, said photographs he obtained through a subpoena to the Long Island Home Builders Care Corp., which built the homes in 2013, show that Islandia "would have evidence to prove" that Thomas Datre Jr. and his father, Thomas Datre Sr., are responsible for the dumping at Veterans Way.

A criminal investigation into dumping, by the Suffolk County district attorney last year, led to indictment of six men, including Datre Jr. and Datre Sr., for alleged roles in spreading tainted construction debris at four sites in and around Islip, including Veterans Way and Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood. All have pleaded not guilty.

In a civil action filed in December, the homeowners filed suit against Datre Jr., Datre Sr. and four Datre companies for allegedly directing contaminated fill to the site. The suit seeks unspecified punitive and property damage awards.

The photographs, submitted to the court, show lime-green Datre trucks dumping dark-colored fill at the site at the time of construction.

"It's hard to imagine, based on the photographs I've seen, that they could have been unaware of what was going on," Creedon said of the village.

In December, 1,860 cubic yards of contaminated debris was removed from a berm at the site along Motor Parkway.

Creedon filed the subpoenas with Suffolk County Supreme Court in Riverhead requesting the village turn over all files on the project, including construction records, communications between village officials, meeting minutes and a deposition of Gerald J. Peters, the village's building inspector.

Village Attorney Joseph W. Prokop, in a motion to quash the subpoenas, wrote they "are not properly justified, overly broad, and improper."

Justice Arthur G. Pitts is reviewing the motions, Creedon said after a brief conference in court Thursday.

Outside court, Prokop said the village "will continue to cooperate . . . to the extent that we can. However, the interests of the village have to be maintained also."

"It's almost like a slap in the face," homeowner Marine Reserve Staff Sgt. Shawn Hunkins said outside court, of the village effort to deny the subpoenas.


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