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Letters: Sports Hall of Fame a 'squander'

The former site of the Suffolk Sports Hall

The former site of the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame on South Ocean Avenue in Patchogue on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. Pieces of the property were sold even before the Hall opened there. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Thank you, Newsday, for answering my husband's question, "What happened to the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame" ["$1.38M on an airport wall," News, July 26]?

We visited this small, pleasant venue in Patchogue in 2012 and enjoyed the quiet celebration of Long Island's sports greats. When we went back, it was gone!

Now we know the disappearance was part of a larger story about yet another squandering of public funds.

One more thing: The people behind the hall of fame also made an anti-bullying video, at a cost of $25,000. Where may I view it?

Jacqueline Clark, Islip

It's difficult for any Suffolk County taxpayer to have confidence in our political system after reading about the Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame.

Former Suffolk County undersheriff Edward Morris, who in 2001 pleaded guilty to a felony, defrauding the government, was able to retain his $75,000-plus pension.

He received a generous salary and expenses for his job as the executive director of the sports hall of fame. Through apparent political connections, the hall of fame was able to secure the donation of several buildings in Patchogue and hundreds of thousands in Suffolk County, New York State and federal funds.

Thereafter, the hall of fame became essentially semi-homeless, with some very limited collections being exhibited at the Long Island MacArthur Airport. What happened to the bulk of these funds? To paraphrase William Shakespeare, something is rotten in Suffolk County.

Jerry Bilinski, Riverhead

Editor's note: The writer is a retired case manager based at the Suffolk County jail's mental health unit.