DA: Southold supervisor’s wife arrested early Tuesday

Nuria Russell is escorted into Southold Town Justice Court Tuesday. (Credit: Paul Squire)
Nuria Russell is escorted into Southold Town Justice Court Tuesday. (Credit: Paul Squire)

A New Suffolk woman was arrested early Tuesday morning following an incident at a Cutchogue house owned by Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell, according to a press release issued by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office. 

Nuria Russell, 50, the supervisor’s estranged wife, was charged following an incident at 9:30 p.m. Monday in which she allegedly broke a front window to gain entry into the supervisor’s house on Oak Street.  Ms. Russell allegedly violated an order of protection issued June 3 and served upon her Sunday by entering the house when Mr. Russell was present and again when she later phoned the supervisor from Southold Town Police Headquarters, according to the criminal complaint.  She was arrested at 12:50 a.m. Tuesday, a DA spokesperson said.

Appearing without an attorney in Southold Town court Tuesday, a barefoot Ms. Russell pleaded not guilty to two charges of second-degree criminal contempt and a charge of fourth-degree criminal mischief. She was released on her own recognizance by Judge William Price, according to the DA’s office.

Ms. Russell told Judge Price she is living with the couple’s two children at the house in Cutchogue and that as of Monday the supervisor was no longer living in the house.

“We are sleeping at Oak Street and it has been transitional,” she told the judge.

However, a DA spokesperson said Ms. Russell told police she lives at an address in New Suffolk. County court records show that a lease in Mr. Russell’s name at that same New Suffolk address expired at the end of April. An attorney for the New Suffolk property owner declined comment Tuesday.

Mr. Russell told police he stays at the Cutchogue address, the DA’s office said.

In 2011, Mr. Russell took a 17 day leave of absence from his Town Supervisor job following a police incident at the Cutchogue house that April. He said at the time police were responding to a 911 call “as a result of my poor health. The fact is that for some time now I have allowed myself to become physically and mentally fatigued.”

On her way into the courtroom Tuesday, Ms. Russell told reporters “you’re supposed to be on my side.”

“I’ve done nothing wrong, just know that,” she said.

“I’m fighting a lot of injustices right now,” she added on her way out of the courtroom.

When contacted on his cell phone Tuesday, Mr. Russell called the arrest a “private family matter.”

“I hope our family privacy will be respected,” he said, declining further comment.

Ms. Russell is scheduled to return to town court July 18, though Justice Price said Tuesday that the town judges plan to recuse themselves from the case.

“I am going to do the arraignment and after that this case is going to be transferred to a different court,” he said.

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