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Nov 30, 2015 1:14 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Bender Says He Was Not Aware That Pills Were Being Re-Sold; Board Sets Special Election For January 26

Brad Bender with his attorney, Brian J. DeSessa, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip on Tuesday, November 24. JOE WERKMEISTER
Dec 2, 2015 10:30 AM

Brad Bender, who resigned from the Southampton Town Board on November 24 after being charged with distributing oxycodone, said in a phone interview on Monday that he had been selling the drug to a single individual and not knowingly as part of a large drug ring.

While he knew it was wrong to sell the painkillers, Mr. Bender said, he thought it was for the unnamed man’s personal use, and had no idea that those pills were then being resold to drug addicts.

“Everyone blew this up as if I was creeping around at night selling drugs to drug dealers, which is not the case,” Mr. Bender said. “I shared my medication with one other person, someone I knew, and I thought it was for personal use. It doesn’t make it right, but it is what happened.”

Mr. Bender, who lives in Northampton, surrendered to federal agents in Central Islip on November 24. He was arraigned that afternoon by Magistrate Judge Anne Y. Shields and pleaded guilty to conspiring to illegally distribute oxycodone, which he obtained illegally and then resold for cash and steroids, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

The former president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Association had reached a deal with prosecutors allowing him to plead guilty to the charges if he also agreed to resign from the Town Board. As part of his deal, Mr. Bender has been released on a $100,000 bond and must turn over his passport.

Mr. Bender said he was living as a functional addict, and was encouraged to share the pills to a mutual acquaintance by Michael Troyan, the indicted physician’s assistant who provided the prescriptions, but was never told that the drugs were being resold.

Mr. Troyan was arrested in early November for issuing fake prescriptions for oxycodone.

Mr. Bender also said that he had accepted money for the pills to pay for medical costs stemming from a back injury in 2011 that led to his dependence on the painkillers. At the time, he said, he had tried several methods of pain management, including different pain medications and six epidurals.

Since his arrest and subsequent resignation last week, Mr. Bender has started receiving treatment for his addiction. He is now a member of Narcotics Anonymous and has been attending both group and individual treatment sessions with a therapist.

As part of a plea deal, Mr. Bender is participating in a 90-day treatment program and will attend meetings every day during the three-month span. He is also scheduled to appear at the federal courthouse in Central Islip every two weeks until his sentencing in April. He has cooperated with prosecutors since he was brought in for questioning in connection with the investigation of Mr. Troyan in early November, he said.

If he complies with the conditions set in the plea deal, Mr. Bender said he has been told he will not be sentenced to more than 36 months in jail, and his fine will not exceed $5,000. But he added that it is also possible that he will avoid jail time altogether.

“I will say this, and excuse my French, but I know I f---ed up,” Mr. Bender said. “But if you look at my history as the kind of man that I have been and the things that I have done for my community, that is who I want to be. This is not the guy I wanted to be, it is something that happened.”

He said he is working to improve himself, take responsibility for his actions and move on. Hoping to avoid jail time, Mr. Bender said he has started picking up contracting work again since resigning last week from the Town Board. Through group therapy, he said, he has been seen how many people on the East End are affected by drug problems.

“Now I see there is more going on, and I didn’t see it before,” he said. “We have a major problem with people that are using and abusing drugs, and it can happen on any level. I have seen people in all walks of life at this point, so maybe I can make a difference here. I don’t know, it is still too soon.”

On Monday morning, the Southampton Town Board met to schedule a special election to replace Mr. Bender. The election will take place on Tuesday, January 26, 2016. The candidates for Mr. Bender’s vacant seat on the Town Board have not been finalized yet.

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Poor misunderstood Mr. Bender
By Undocumented Democrat (1929), southampton on Nov 30, 15 1:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By wendyg, Flanders on Nov 30, 15 2:20 PM
I don't think there is anything wrong with the paper reporting what the guy is saying in his defense. Its not like the reporter is saying it was a misunderstanding.
By Rich Morey (356), East Hampton on Nov 30, 15 2:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
No oxy addict ever decided someone else needed the pills more than he did. And where do the steroids fit in here? This spin is just that...
By Brandon Quinn (186), Hampton Bays on Nov 30, 15 2:36 PM
1 member liked this comment
Bender if you think that the people believe you were told by the Doc and did what he said..then you really think that the people are stupid.Please the Poor mes isn't going to work..They'll straighten that out in program for sure ,you will never be able to pull the wool over their eyes For sure...Own up to it ..it has nothing to do with your arm being twisted it all falls on you..you agreed .
By LaurieDowns (1), on Nov 30, 15 3:02 PM
4 members liked this comment
Malarkey...
By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on Nov 30, 15 3:14 PM
So your addicted to opiods, and the treatment program you are following is Narcotics Anonymous and daily therapy only.No detox or rehab program here? Are you really addicted?
By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on Nov 30, 15 3:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
Brad - a few questions, if you will allow?

1. If the man needed them for personal use, and was mutual friends with the PA who was the head of this "it's-not-a-drug-ring" ring, why didn't he get a prescription for them?

2. If you were addicted to these pills and didn't need them for your pain (as the injury dates back to 2011), you getting the scripts and using the pills yourself was, technically, illegal, no?

3. If you were actually addicted to pills (I don't believe this), ...more
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Nov 30, 15 3:24 PM
It makes sense now why the board would not let the Southampton Town police department participate in the east end drug task force. Mr. Benders complete and udder hatred for Chief Wilson.
Bender you sound like and idiot, I didn't know. You got caught.
By guest (67), Bridgehampton on Nov 30, 15 3:43 PM
Uh, I think you meant "utter". Look up "udder" in the dictionary, but prepare to be embarrassed.
If you're a product of local public education, then either it's seriously bad, or you weren't paying attention in English class.
Also, "Bender you sound like and idiot, I didn't know." makes no sense to anyone who speaks English. Wanna' rewrite that?
By June Bug (2432), SOUTHAMPTON on Nov 30, 15 4:27 PM
And Bender was not on the board when Wilson was Chief.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Nov 30, 15 4:34 PM
You are correct June bug, seriously poor spelling on my part. However, he is still a drug dealer.
By guest (67), Bridgehampton on Dec 1, 15 8:53 AM
Udder=cow teat
By CaptainSig (707), Dutch Harbor on Dec 1, 15 10:18 PM
2 members liked this comment
BRAVO SIERRA BRAD, BRAVO SIERRA
By bigfresh (4311), north sea on Nov 30, 15 4:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
Whiskey tango foxtrot BF;)
By dnice (2345), Hampton Bays on Nov 30, 15 5:54 PM
what a fool to think his drug dealing "friends" would keep quiet. Lots more going down, the whole steriod crowd must be shaking in their collective sneakers.
By xtiego (696), bridgehampton on Nov 30, 15 6:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
all body builders be aware
By xtiego (696), bridgehampton on Nov 30, 15 6:09 PM
Statistically speaking, Marion Barry was elected again...
By Mr. Z (11289), North Sea on Nov 30, 15 6:41 PM
2 members liked this comment
Lol... Could be a strategic career move.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Nov 30, 15 9:56 PM
Really adding insult to injury here. Mr. Bender, you are a disgrace. One thing is clear from your indictment, which you agreed with last week - you'll do anything for money. A struggling community put its hope and trust in you, and you plundered it. Your other destructive and venal acts while on the board can only be guessed at. Perhaps further subpoenas might clear the air.
By rburger (78), Remsenburg on Nov 30, 15 8:19 PM
Sure your friend needs hundreds of pills for his own use. If you are that dumb than you don't deserve to be on the town board. In fact the way you're avoiding jail time is by being a snitch, and weaseling out of jail time. Let's see you use steroids work out, but your back pain needs opiate pain killers. People aren't buying your BS it is utter nonsense. Go peddle your crap somewhere else. Poor Brad got caught.
By chief1 (2700), southampton on Nov 30, 15 8:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
You are in denial, pee in a cup and go to a meeting and try and sell that story at an NA meeting
By watchdog1 (525), Southampton on Nov 30, 15 8:53 PM
What a liar! Who does he think he's fooling. It's over Brad. Don't ever show your face in public again.
By HB90 (157), southampton on Nov 30, 15 9:55 PM
pretty sad brad
Lets give Rich Yastremski a shot to take his place!
By 1mountainroad (1), southampton on Nov 30, 15 9:58 PM
Lima India Alpha Romeo...

Not buying any of this crap.
By Draggerman (894), Southampton on Nov 30, 15 9:58 PM
2 members liked this comment
Brad, most people knew you were the Town Board simpleton, holding on tight to Anna's skirt, terminally addicted to whatever eruptions came from Anna's mouth to slavishly follow. Jump, how high?

For your own sake, just shut your mouth and your stupidities down.

"According to Mr. Bender, he was encouraged to share the pills by Mr. Troyan, who was arrested in early November for issuing fake prescriptions for oxycodone, but was never told that the drugs were being resold. He also ...more
By Obbservant (443), southampton on Dec 1, 15 8:22 AM
Biggest creep in the HGC locker room.
By Mouthampton (419), Southampton on Dec 1, 15 9:47 AM
1 member liked this comment
The only thing this loser is sorry for is that he GOT CAUGHT!! and really what a crock... So sick of these losers trying to justify their "DISEASE", which is anything but. DRUGS ARE A CHOICE A DISEASE IS NOT!!! Hope he gets what he deserves!
By J. Totta (102), Sag Harbor on Dec 1, 15 10:06 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By mtkfish (59), montauk on Dec 1, 15 11:14 AM
If he was hooked on pills, got caught and couldn't use anymore he would be crawled up in a ball going through withdrawals. Which proves he was a drug dealer and a drug dealer only.
By GoldenBoy (341), EastEnd on Dec 1, 15 1:49 PM
1 member liked this comment
So that makes it OK?
By J. Totta (102), Sag Harbor on Dec 1, 15 2:26 PM
No it makes him look like more of a coward for using the excuse of addiction to gain sympathy
By GoldenBoy (341), EastEnd on Dec 1, 15 6:43 PM
4 members liked this comment
"I didn't inhale...."
By bettyboo (35), Southampton on Dec 1, 15 10:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
This guy is no dummy he pled guilty turned in everyone, and will march out of sentencing with no time.
By chief1 (2700), southampton on Dec 2, 15 9:06 PM
1 member liked this comment
... this guy is no dummy? You might wanna' rethink that?
By William Rodney (542), southampton on Dec 3, 15 7:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
If he turns on some of the guys from the gym I belive were involed he better run far far away. and good ridance the arogant little know it all,

I will pay for my own garbage collection, thank you very much.
By Undocumented Democrat (1929), southampton on Dec 11, 15 1:15 PM
Anna Throne-Holst really did not notice this guy was not right? What a leader. She wants to run for Congress? What else did she turn a blind eye to? Building developments & other travesties to Southampton's well being?

Let Richard Yastrzemski take his place PLEASE. A family man versed in finance and - what a wonder for our local government - an opiate and steroid free candidate!

Bender presents what kind of example to youngsters in the area? Go ahead - be an outlaw - you ...more
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Dec 3, 15 2:23 PM
How do you now RY has no skeletons? For the same reason ATH did not know. We know what people want us to know. Please try to tone down your drama filled, and fact lacking, posts. Thanks.
By dnice (2345), Hampton Bays on Dec 4, 15 7:25 PM
where does Rich stand on the change of zone application for the Tuckahoe Mall project?
By bigfresh (4311), north sea on Dec 7, 15 7:17 AM
Dnice - ATH had to observe a lack of normal behavior in a drugged up board member if she had a brain - how does this person call herself a leader? Politician maybe. Leader no.
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Dec 11, 15 2:37 PM
How about the rest of the board? They are in constant contact. How with other political leaders that he was close with. Why is it only Anna that should have known? Is she the only "leader"?

By bb (878), Hampton Bays on Dec 11, 15 7:50 PM
Not necessarily, that is why they call it "functional". Don't get me wrong. My beef wasn't with your disdain of ATH, just your naive thought that we can know everything that is going on in a person's life because we work with them
By dnice (2345), Hampton Bays on Dec 12, 15 3:42 PM
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