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Suffolk DA to drop larceny charges against ex-Poquott official

Edward Schmidt, 24, was accused of misspending at

Edward Schmidt, 24, was accused of misspending at least $300 when he was president of the Poquott Civic Association from 2013 to 2014. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Suffolk prosecutors will drop charges against former Poquott Deputy Mayor Edward Schmidt, who was accused of stealing hundreds of dollars from the village’s civic association, his lawyer said.

Online court records show Suffolk County Court Judge Pierce F. Cohalan last week declared an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal of two misdemeanor petty larceny charges that had been filed against Schmidt in 2015.

Prosecutors had said then that Schmidt, now 24, misspent at least $300 when he was president of the Poquott Civic Association from 2013 to 2014.

Schmidt’s lawyer, Tad Scharfenberg of Bohemia, said Tuesday that the charges will be formally dismissed at Schmidt’s next court appearance on Oct. 12.

Scharfenberg said prosecutors from the district attorney’s office agreed to drop the charges after Schmidt agreed to pay $7,000 to the civic group.

“The DA’s office did the right thing in this case,” Scharfenberg said in an interview. “Here’s a young guy — college kid, hard worker — who did nothing wrong, in my opinion, except bad accounting.”

Civic association leaders had claimed in 2014 that Schmidt may have taken more than $20,000 from the group.

Civic association president Carol Pesek on Tuesday confirmed the group had received a $7,000 check from Schmidt. Coupled with a $3,000 payment in 2014, Pesek said the group has received a total of $10,000 from Schmidt.

“The civics board is relieved that there has been movement on the issue of misappropriation of civics funds,” Pesek said in an interview. “From the very beginning, the board has endeavored to strictly follow the directives of the membership in its attempts to retrieve the missing money.”

In an email, Robert Clifford, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said prosecutors agreed to drop charges when civic association board members said they were satisfied by Schmidt’s payments.

Schmidt had been among Long Island’s youngest elected officials when he won a Poquott village trustee seat in 2014. He also was appointed deputy mayor. Schmidt resigned from both positions later that year amid questions about his dual roles with the organizations.

He was charged in 2015 with a felony for allegedly taking at least $1,500 from the civic association. The charge was later dropped. State Supreme Court Judge Arthur G. Pitts last year threw out a lawsuit in which Schmidt claimed Pesek and other civic association leaders caused him emotional distress by publicly accusing him of stealing funds.


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