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Brookhaven Town board election remains uncertified after court decision

Brookhaven Town Board incumbent Connie Kepert and challenger

Brookhaven Town Board incumbent Connie Kepert and challenger Michael A. Loguercio Jr. Credit: Newsday photos

A State Supreme Court justice has denied a motion by Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Connie Kepert to certify the November election results and allow her to represent her district at upcoming town board meetings.

State Supreme Court Justice Joseph C. Pastoressa denied Kepert's motion in Riverhead on Tuesday, in light of a plan by Republicans to appeal a court decision that may have overturned the November election and awarded the seat to incumbent Democrat Kepert over GOP challenger Michael A. Loguercio Jr. While no winner has been declared, both sides said they believed the court has effectively awarded the contest to Kepert.

Attorney Steven Losquadro, representing Loguercio, said he plans to file papers with the New York Court of Appeals early next week, seeking a reversal of the decision on the November election.

Kepert said that because court officials are permitting the GOP to appeal, the 4th Council District will be without representation as 2014 begins, and that the elected candidate will miss at least two work sessions and a town board meeting.

Last month, a four-member appellate court panel in Brooklyn reviewed a Dec. 10 decision by State Supreme Court Justice Carol MacKenzie, who had thrown out 11 of 22 ballots challenged by attorneys for Kepert and Loguercio.

The appellate judges considered 16 of the 22 ballots and reversed seven of the decisions in which MacKenzie deemed ballots were invalid. They upheld her decisions on two defective ballots. The candidates did not challenge two other decisions finding ballots were invalid.

Ultimately, the appeals court said 13 of 16 disputed ballots should be counted in the race.

Loguercio had held a four-vote lead in tallies before the court ruling. Kepert was down 94 votes against him after the Nov. 5 election, but made up ground with absentee votes and ballots from Democratic districts.

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