02/12/15 6:00am
02/12/2015 6:00 AM
Southold Town Justice Court Director Leanne Reilly thumbs through files in the court's conference room. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Southold Town Justice Court Director Leanne Reilly thumbs through files in the court’s conference room. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Southold Town Justice Court director Leanne Reilly stood in the town’s jury room Tuesday afternoon thumbing through files. It got that name since it’s where deliberations are held during trials.

Of course it’s also known as the conference room, thanks to the many meetings held at the shiny oak table in the center of the space.

And if there was a location you’d call the records room within the Southold Town Justice Court this one would be it, with dozens of boxes containing more than a decade’s worth of court files stored around its perimeter.

The court safe is secured here, too. One doesn’t have to be an expert in courthouse design to understand this setup is less than ideal, and it would be hard to find a soul at Southold Town Hall who would argue against that point.

Figuring out how to address the problem is something the Southold Town Board will be tasked with in the months to come, as members consider building a new facility or reconfiguring existing town buildings to create a safer, more efficient justice court.  (more…)

02/12/15 5:58am
Southold Town is exploring the option of adding a $3 million courthouse building behind Town Hall. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Southold Town is exploring the option of adding a $3 million courthouse building behind Town Hall. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

The easiest, most cost-effective solution to Southold Town’s justice court problem is to construct a new building on town-owned property behind Town Hall.

Town officials said Tuesday that such a project would carry a $3 million price tag, a reasonable sum to fix a growing problem.  (more…)

01/14/15 1:40pm
01/14/2015 1:40 PM
Ms. Stulsky leaving court last year. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Ms. Stulsky leaving court last year. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Christine Stulsky, the former Southold Town Justice Court Clerk accused of stealing funds from the court while she worked there, pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny Wednesday and will be sentenced to six months in jail and five years probation March 11.

Ms. Stulsky also agreed to pay back $231,791 in funds stolen from the town bail account over a number of years. The restitution will be made over a five-year period while she is under probation, according to assistant district attorney Melisa Bliss.

Ms. Stulsky’s attorney, Lane Bubka, said she could otherwise have faced between five and 15 years in jail. By agreeing to the plea, she waives her right to a trial as well as to an appeal.

Ms. Stulsky remains free on $50,000 bail until her sentencing.

The 65-year-old New Suffolk resident appeared in court wearing a brown coat and surrounded by family members. She told County Court Judge John Collins that she had agreed to and signed the plea agreement, and she acknowledged that she did steal the money.

“You understand that if you are charged with another crime prior to your sentencing, you could face greater penalties?” Judge Collins asked Mr. Stulsky.

“Yes,” she responded.

In March, she pleaded not guilty to the felony grand larceny charge and charges of defrauding government and official misconduct.

Ms. Stulsky, who worked for the town since 1980 until her resignation last march, declined to comment afterward. But her attorneys, Mr. Bubka and John Strode, issued the following statement to the Suffolk Times: “Christine is remorseful and accepts responsibility for her actions. She deeply regrets how this has affected the justices of the court, her co-workers, the Town Board and all of the residents of Southold Town. Christine is forever grateful for the help of her family and friends who have supported her through this, and have made it possible for her to pay back every dollar taken.”

The case was before Judge Collins at the county court in Riverside since the Southold Town judges recused themselves from the case.

Town Supervisor Scott Russell said “the town is pleased that this chapter has now closed.”

“We have a new Justice Court Director and are confident that policies and procedures will be put in place so acts like these never happen again,” he said.

[email protected]


09/02/14 10:00am
09/02/2014 10:00 AM
Nightly Mattituck rentals listed through airbnb.com.

Nightly Mattituck rentals listed through airbnb.com.

It seems like a win-win, renting out that rarely used summer home, or even your own home, to make a few extra bucks.

But residents across the East End, irked by an influx of short-term renters popping up in their otherwise close-knit neighborhoods, are questioning the trend, and saying it is compromising their quality of life.

Some of them gathered at Southold Town Hall last Tuesday asking the Town Board to address what they say is a trending new industry.  (more…)

08/07/14 10:41am
08/07/2014 10:41 AM
We're here!

We’re here! Town engineer Jamie Richter was among the first town officials off the boat at Fishers Island Thursday. (Credit: Grant Parpan photos)

It’s not often that on the way home from a Southold Town Board meeting a crowd of town officials gathers on the deck of a ferry boat to watch as a nuclear submarine passes by.

Then again, the town only meets on Fishers Island once each year.  (more…)