A State Supreme Court Judge on Wednesday night invalidated the petitions of Mattituck businessman Greg Williams, who announced last month he was a GOP candidate for the Suffolk County Legislature.
In his decision, Justice Jerry Garguilo said the petitioner, Catherine Stark, sought the order invalidating Williams’ petitions “claiming they were permeated with fraud.” Ms. Stark is the GOP’s announced candidate for the Legislature; Mr. Williams, who was not supported as the party’s official candidate, then said he would run a primary against her.
It is Mr. Williams petitions, and the signatures on them, that were challenged in court by Ms. Stark. At issue, according to the court decision, is whether the signing of the petitions was properly witnessed. The decision says the “signature of witness” line on the petitions was signed by Mr. Williams’ wife, Karen.
In a court hearing, questions were raised as to whether Karen Williams did, in fact, properly witness the signatures. In his decision, Justice Garguilo said “the court is mindful that the omission in all probability was caused by inexperience in the process.
“Nevertheless, the court is duty bound to follow the law. The petition of Catherine Stark…is GRANTED and the designating petition of Candidate Williams is invalidated.”
Mr. Williams could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.
In a press release late Wednesday afternoon, Suffolk County GOP chairman Jesse Garcia said Mr. Williams’ name would be removed from the ballot. He then went on in the release to compare Mr. Williams to Rep. George Santos, who ran for a congressional seat in western Nassau County and has been accused of fraud.
“The people of Suffolk County deserve better, and Mr. Williams has very clearly demonstrated he is unfit to serve in public office,” Mr. Garcia said.
He said “lawyers representing the party will be referring the matter to the Suffolk County District Attorney.”