Westhampton Beach officials have voted to demolish the crumbling house of incarcerated former Suffolk Legis. George Guldi.
Guldi is serving a 4- to 12-year prison sentence for his involvement in an $82 million mortgage scam and pocketing more than $850,000 in insurance proceeds from a fire that gutted his home at 9 Griffing Ave.
Since the November 2008 blaze, the two-story Colonial has been boarded up, with gaping holes in the roof and collapsed floors.
Westhampton Beach Mayor Maria Moore said the demolition "has been a priority since I took office" in July.
"I know this will be a great relief to the residents of the village," she said in an interview Friday. "It's a sad thing because it used to be such a beautiful home."
On Dec. 30, a New York State Supreme Court justice ruled the village could move ahead with the demolition, Moore said.
The Westhampton Beach Village Board on Thursday authorized demolishing the house and voted 5-0 to hire Bay Shore-based Unitech Services Group Inc. to do so for $39,900. The board also voted to pay JC Broderick & Associates Inc. of Hauppauge $5,316 to monitor asbestos removal. The house must be hosed down during the demolition to prevent asbestos particles from contaminating the air, village officials said.
Razing the house may have to wait about a month for the weather to warm up, said village building and zoning administrator Paul Houlihan.
Guldi fought the demolition from prison, saying in court papers last year that he wanted to salvage shingles, tiles and doors from the property, which he said his family has owned for three generations.
Guldi also said he was not properly served court papers, in part because he was treated with "an array of psychotropic medications" that affected his alertness. He said he stopped taking the medications in April.
He argued that the house is not dangerous and that village officials want to destroy it "for primarily aesthetic concerns at the behest of a few neighbors."
In August 2013, an Eastport woman filed a notice of claim against the village after she fell through a deck while trying to rescue kittens from the house, according to court records. She reported suffering bruises and cuts to her face and "pieces of wood embedded in her pinky, requiring two surgeries."
"There's nothing there to salvage," Houlihan said. "It's a mess. It's burnt out, moldy, most of the Sheetrock has just deteriorated off the walls."
Houlihan added that a "George O. Guldi" sign that hung for years outside the Democratic ex-legislator's former Westhampton Beach law office was removed in the fall.
Guldi has spent 33 months in a medium-security prison in upstate Marcy. He was denied release in October because a parole board ruled there was "reasonable probability" that he would break the law again. Guldi is eligible for another parole review in October 2016.
With Rick Brand
and Sandra Peddie