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Ex-prosecutor to oversee garbage dispute

A former federal prosecutor has been tapped to help decide whether the Town of Smithtown can void its contract with a garbage carter accused of stealing recyclable paper.

Town attorney John Zollo said Joseph McCann, a Glen Cove city justice with a private practice in Rockville Centre, has agreed to preside over hearings at which the town intends to seek to sever its $2.15 million annual contract with Jody Enterprises Inc. McCann is to be paid a maximum $165 per hour. Zollo said he expects the hearings to be held next month.

Suffolk authorities charged Jody and two of its employees in August with taking part in a scheme to divert more than $200,000 worth of paper recyclables from the Smithtown recycling center to a West Babylon garbage carter. The Bay Shore-based company and its employees have pleaded not guilty.

In addition, Jody owner Giustino Gallone has been charged with failing to disclose information while seeking a contract with Babylon Town. He pleaded not guilty. Babylon canceled its $78 million, 10-year contract with Jody.

The Smithtown Town board last month voted unanimously to seek to terminate Jody's contract to collect recyclable paper in two of the town's five garbage districts. The board also voted to sue Jody's insurance carrier to recoup money lost in the alleged theft and to put out bids for carters to take over Jody's pickup routes.

McCann, 60, was an assistant United States attorney for the Eastern District in Brooklyn from 1986 to 1994. During that time, he prosecuted cases under the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. In 1994, he published an article in the Journal of Urban Technology on mob influence in the garbage carting industry. He could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Huntington, Brookhaven and Islip also have contracts with Jody and are reviewing its work.

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