Nassau County Legislator David Denenberg shown in a Monday, Oct....

Nassau County Legislator David Denenberg shown in a Monday, Oct. 6, 2014 photo. Credit: Howard Schnapp

And now this stunner:

A group of civic associations in the Bellmore-Merrick area is working to elect Nassau County Democratic Legis. David Denenberg to the State Senate.

The contest between Denenberg and Republican Michael Venditto for the seat being vacated by Republican Charles Fuschillo was supposed to be one of the marquee races in the battle for control of the Senate.

Denenberg, you’ll remember, dropped out of the race last month after his former law firm accused him of bilking a client out of more than $2 million. His name stayed on the ballot due to state election rules but Denenberg, presumably radioactive at that point, stopped campaigning. He has continued to attend community events and legislative meetings, however, actions Denenberg told Newsday’s Celeste Hadrick reflected his role as “a legislator getting out there and representing my constituents.”

Last week, Denenberg’s attorneys said he was close to settling the lawsuit filed by the Garden City-based firm Davidoff Hutcher & Citron. The suit accused Denenberg of “truly heinous criminal misconduct,” billing a client more than $2 million over eight years for work he never did, and fabricating a federal judge’s signature.

Denenberg said the allegations were “outrageous” but did not outright deny them.
Before the suit was filed, the Merrick resident had a comfortable lead in the polls over fellow Nassau Legis. Venditto of Massapequa, and seemed a good bet to win the seat. Afterward, Venditto seemed a shoo-in.

Now the civic associations — including the North and Central Merrick Civic Association, the Bellmore Preservation Association and the Wantagh Civic Association — apparently are going to bat for Denenberg.

According to a news release from the associations, they have started a Facebook page backing Denenberg and are putting back Denenberg signs that had been taken down, making phone calls on his behalf, and hitting train stations and supermarkets with campaign literature.

The associations are attacking Venditto, son of Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, for presenting the allegations as facts in his campaign literature. But the associations bluntly call them false. Sounds like a draw. Call them what they are: allegations.

The real question is whether Denenberg is going to swing back into campaign mode in this final week before Election Day next Tuesday.

We might get a better idea of that tonight.

The North and Central Merrick, South Merrick Community, North Bellmore and South Bellmore civic associations are hosting a “Meet the Candidates Night” at 7 p.m. and Denenberg has been invited.

Will he show?