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Smithtown GOP settles headquarters eviction case

Smithtown Republicans face eviction from their 35 Manor Rd. headquarters and must pay a $3,500 judgment under a settlement with their landlord signed earlier this month.

In a July 9 letter in records at Fourth District Court, an attorney for landlord Dr. Steven McClain said Republicans had not paid rent since February. Monthly rent of $1,552.98 plus legal fees brought the total owed to $11,967, he wrote.

McClain said he believed the nonpayment was the result of a dispute between the Republicans and the building’s former owner, engineering consultant Sidney B. Bowne & Son LLP.

“I never asked them for rent. They didn’t pay rent either, didn’t offer to pay rent,” said McClain, who bought the building in May. “We were all kind of walking on eggshells.”

He said he intended to renovate the building and sell it. “They’d said they could find other places to move their headquarters, and I agreed,” he said. “We’re going to part as neighbors and friends.”

Town Republican committee chairman Bill Ellis did not make himself available for an interview. Syosset-based LiRo Group, which bought Bowne’s assets earlier this year, did not respond to a request for comment.

According to campaign finance records from July — the latest available — Republicans of Smithtown ended that month with $67,378.66 in the bank. 

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