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Felony forgery charges dropped to violations in case of local Board of Elections workers

Two Republican Board of Elections employees who were arrested last December on felony forgery charges had those charges dropped to disorderly conduct last month in Suffolk District Court, for which they both pleaded guilty. 

William Mann, 61, of Cutchogue was originally charged with one count of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a felony, one count of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and two counts of official misconduct, all misdemeanors. Gregory Dickerson, 55, of Mattituck, was charged with two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, which are felonies, and two counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, both of which are felonies. He was also charged with second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a felony.

Disorderly conduct is a violation, a lesser charge than misdemeanor. They were both sentenced in First District Court last month. Both were fined $250, plus a $25 court surcharge. The section of the disorderly conduct law that they pleaded guilty to deals with “creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose.”

The charges stemmed from a scheme in which Green Party members claimed that Republicans had “hijacked” the Green Party line on the Nov. 2018 ballot for three countywide judge positions. The members claimed that they were told the petition carriers were helping Green Party judicial candidates on the ballot, even though the Green Party didn’t have any such candidates.

Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini called it “a brazen scheme” in the wake of the arrests.

In addition to Mr. Mann and Mr. Dickerson, the DA’s office also arrested Amos Goodman, 36, a former East Hampton Republican Committee chair, and Patricia Mansir, 73, a former East Hampton Town Councilwoman, on similar charges. Their cases are still in court.

“It’s troubling,” said Southold Town Democratic chair Kathryn Casey Quigley on Friday about the sentences. She said the disorderly conduct charge was too light in wake of the prior felony charges.

“It hard to say what the punishment should be,” said Roger Snyder, the chair of the Suffolk County Green Party. “The good thing is that they were caught and there was some justice served by them actually having to go through the system. Hopefully, it will make anyone else who tries to do the same thing think twice about it.”

Robert Maloney, an investigator with the Suffolk DA’s office, wrote in a deposition that one of the signatures Mr. Mann had claimed to have witnessed was of someone who had died on Sept. 29, 2014. He also wrote that, on July 11, 2018, Mr. Mann approached a Green Party member wearing a Board of Elections shirt and stated that he was from the Board of Elections and was working for the Green Party. Mr. Maloney said Mr. Dickerson submitted two Green Party designating petitions — one with a notarization date of July 9th, 2018, and the other with July 11, 2018, date — to the Board of Elections.

The names on the petition were known to Mr. Maloney and the people who were alleged to have signed the petitions claimed they did not sign them, according to Mr. Maloney.

Both Mr. Mann and Mr. Dickerson still work at the Board of Elections.

Mr. Mann hung up on a request for comment.

Mr. Dickerson could not be reached for comment.

Southold Republican Committee chairman Peter McGreevy declined comment.

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