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Dec 5, 2017 5:30 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Hampton Code Officer Fired, Veteran Department Head Resigns In Wake Of Hearing

Dec 5, 2017 5:30 PM

The East Hampton Town Board on Tuesday voted unanimously to terminate Code Enforcement Officer Arthur Bloom and accept the retirement of Elizabeth Bambrick, the longtime head of the Code Enforcement Department, following the issuance of findings from a disciplinary hearing on 10 charges against Mr. Bloom.

Mr. Bloom, who had been suspended but was still being paid since last December, had been a code officer since early 2015.

Ms. Bambrick had been with the town since 1989 and served as the director of code enforcement since 2010.

Mr. Bloom was found guilty by an appointed hearing officer, Eileen Powers, on all 10 of the charges against him, which included tampering with public records, unauthorized destruction or removal of town records, incompetence, and conduct which brings discredit upon the town.

According to a report by Ms. Powers on the hearing, the charges stemmed from Mr. Bloom apparently throwing away a written warning issued on October 7, 2016, to a contractor whom he initially deemed to have been running a business out of a shed on a residential property in Montauk, but later decided had been issued in error.

When he could not produce a copy of the warning issued, at the request of Kelly Kampf, assistant director of public safety, Mr. Bloom denied having written one and said he’d issued only a verbal warning—but he later acknowledged that he might have written one and thrown it away.

In the hearing, he then claimed to have put a copy of the warning in the property file at the Building Department—a twist that Ms. Powers said she found wholly unbelievable.

In her report on the testimony offered at the disciplinary hearing, Ms. Powers said that Mr. Bloom’s telling of the events throughout were not believable and seemed to be “fabricated” to support his defense. Ms. Powers, a former Southampton Town attorney, said that fellow code officer Aldi Binozi had likewise offered testimony that supported Mr. Bloom’s telling but which struck her as “ridiculous” and “contrived,” and that Ms. Bambrick “tried very hard during her testimony to parse words and inject confusion to avoid what sounds very much like she denied knowledge of a written warning that it turns out she had good reason to know was issued.”

Neither Mr. Bloom nor Ms. Bambrick responded to requests for comment on Tuesday afternoon.

Last spring, prior to the commencement of the hearing, Mr. Bloom had said in an interview that the charges against him were part of an effort by Director of Public Safety David Betts and his newly appointed deputy, Ms. Kampf, to “railroad” Ms. Bambrick out of her job. He marveled, at the time, that so much had been made out of a warning—not an actual summons or violation—being tossed out after he realized he’d overreacted in issuing it.

Mr. Betts, a retired Southampton Village Police officer, was hired in 2014 for the newly created position of public safety director, a post he had held previously in Southampton Town, which absorbed both Code Enforcement and the Building Department under his supervision. In September 2016, less than a month before the charges were brought against Mr. Bloom, he appointed Ms. Kampf, at the time a code enforcement officer, to her current post, making her Ms. Bambrick’s superior.

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Mr. Bloom, who had been suspended but was still being paid since last December, had been a code officer since early 2015.

So he worked ONE year and then got a one year paid vacation???
By ehhelpwanted (1), East Hampton on Dec 6, 17 10:38 AM
2 members liked this comment
Sounds about right
By 1640sWhaler (73), Sag Harbor/Easthampton on Dec 6, 17 2:05 PM
Too bad he won't have to give back the money he was paid while "on leave" now that he has been fired.
By Rich Morey (357), East Hampton on Dec 6, 17 4:41 PM
Code enforcement sadly has to go after people trying to make a living. What is the problem with running a business from your home.
By rvs (104), sag harbor on Dec 6, 17 10:34 PM
2 members liked this comment
Bloom? HA! Why am I not surprised.
By Hobie58148 (15), East Hampton on Dec 7, 17 7:59 AM
Betts is a stooge.
By Summerfun46 (10), HAMPTON bays on Dec 9, 17 8:08 PM
8k run & 3 mile walk, Agawam Park, Southampton Rotary Club fundraiser