Senior East Hampton Town Building Inspector Thomas Preiato has been suspended without pay for seven days, effective January 22, after he was arrested following an altercation with Sag Harbor Village Police on January 16.
The Town Board, which had named Mr. Preiato the department head of the building inspector’s office on January 7, voted unanimously on January 21 to suspend Mr. Preiato, who had been serving in the role of the chief building inspector since the death of former Chief Building Inspector Don Sharkey last summer.
Mr. Preiato reportedly intervened in a police interview of several youngsters on Sag Harbor’s Main Street, and, according to Sag Harbor Village Police, he accused the youths of confronting his son during a dispute over money earlier that day. He was charged with obstructing governmental administration, a misdemeanor, and disorderly conduct, a violation, and reportedly held up a gold badge while he was being arrested and told police that he worked for East Hampton Town.
Mr. Preiato’s case is the second instance since the new town administration took office January 1 of an East Hampton Town worker getting in trouble with the law.
Senior Harbormaster Don Bousson resigned his post earlier this month after he was arrested when East Hampton Town Police found half a pound of marijuana in his car.
Although Supervisor Bill Wilkinson, a former vice president of human resources at the Walt Disney Corporation, would not comment on either man’s actions and said that he planned to set a policy of remaining silent about specific issues with town employees, he offered a glimpse into his personnel plan earlier this month.
“I will have a no-tolerance management style for drugs or alcohol for our employees while in the performance of their duties,” he said at the board’s first work session on January 5, adding that town workers should always act with the welfare of other employees and the citizens of the town at heart.