Marlando Williams, a retired state trooper picked by Riverhead Democrats to run for town board, Tuesday denounced the leader of another party who had endorsed him.
Williams’ criticism was aimed at Gregory Fischer, who created the Riverhead First party and is its candidate for town supervisor. Williams, echoing recent allegations made by the town Democratic Party, accused Fischer of “outrageous behavior” involving possible nominating petition irregularities. He said there were irregularities in Fischer’s petitions that put him on the primary ballot against Phil Cardinale, the Democratic Party’s choice to run for town supervisor.
The Democrats recently accused the Riverhead First party of forging the name of a prominent black minister, Charles Coverdale, on Fischer’s petition. Efforts to reach Coverdale have been unsuccessful.
Fischer has said he did not personally collect the petitions bearing Coverdale's name and that he has far more signatures than necessary to get on to the Democratic primary ballot.
“Mr. Fischer needs to focus less on devious politics and vicious rhetoric, and more on acting like a responsible Democrat," Williams said in a written statement. "Riverhead deserves better."
Fischer said Tuesday night that the situation is “all politics” and that he is now disavowing support of Williams. Fischer had circulated petitions on Williams’ behalf to get the latter’s name on the Riverhead First party line; he said he had done so because Williams has the background to reform the town police department.
Photo: Marlando Williams