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May 13, 2016 1:43 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Warren Booth Will Keep Job With Hampton Bays Water District, Over Town Supervisor's Objection

Warren Booth heads into criminal court in Riverhead last Friday morning, May 13. DANA SHAW
May 18, 2016 12:56 PM

A former Hampton Bays Board of Education member who pleaded guilty to looting $55,000 from a scholarship fund established to honor his deceased friend will get to keep his job with the Hampton Bays Water District and will not face any disciplinary review, despite the objections of Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.

Mr. Schneiderman said Friday that while he was “very upset about the situation, and the behavior” of Warren Booth III, a lifelong resident of Hampton Bays, Mr. Booth cannot be fired or disciplined for his actions, because the theft of cash from the scholarship fund is unrelated to his work as one of two maintenance crew leaders for the Hampton Bays Water District, a town entity. He receives an annual salary of about $65,000.

“There’s no provision, apparently, under the law that will allow me to [terminate] employment, which would obviously be my desired course. It’s a little frustrating,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “I would like to dismiss him from employment … but his job does not involve the handling of money, it does not put him into a situation where his judgment would come into play. It had nothing to do with town employment,” he added, referring to the criminal charge.

“If I had the choice, I would fire him, absolutely, but I’m being advised that that is not a choice for me,” the supervisor continued.

Mr. Booth, who has declined to be interviewed, pleaded guilty on Friday, May 6, to one count of third-degree grand larceny, a felony, at Suffolk County Criminal Court in Riverhead, after admitting to stealing approximately $55,000 from the Arthur J. Jones Scholarship Fund. He helped create the fund several years prior to honor the memory of his best friend, who was killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

As part of his plea deal, Mr. Booth must repay the money he stole from the fund and also complete 840 hours of community service. He will remain on interim probation for a year as well, and is not expected to face any jail time.

If he stays out of trouble for the next year, Mr. Booth’s felony charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor count of petit larceny, according to his attorney, James F. Vlahadamis, a founding partner at Vlahadamis and Hillen LLP in Hampton Bays.

When reached on Monday, Mr. Vlahadamis also said he did not know where Mr. Booth would be performing his community service, as it is coordinated through the EAC Network, a not-for-profit human service agency that oversees programs in both Suffolk and Nassau counties, as well as New York City.

A representative from the organization’s community service program office in Hauppauge said Tuesday that she could not disclose such information about Mr. Booth.

Mr. Booth already volunteers with the Hampton Bays Fire Department—though Mr. Vlahadamis said he and Mr. Booth never explored the possibility of him completing his community service hours as a volunteer firefighter. “I know there’s a bunch of locations out here where he could potentially do it,” his attorney added.

Sandra Cirincione, the director of human resources for Southampton Town, explained last week that since Mr. Booth is part of a union—Southampton Town Civil Service Employees Association Unit 8756, Suffolk County Local 852—he cannot be fired for pleading guilty to a crime, even a felony, but that he could be put up for disciplinary review at the request of the Southampton Town Board.

Mr. Schneiderman said Friday, though, that after discussing the matter during an executive session the day before, it was determined that Mr. Booth’s crime is not related to his employment with the town, so further discipline was unwarranted.

The supervisor added, though, that if Mr. Booth is “ever up for promotion to a title that did involve the handling of money, this would certainly come into the conversation.”

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How does this guy walk around town - If i was him i would move out of town.. Theft from a 9/11 Fund that benefit's his home hamlet.
By farmlocal (83), Southampton on May 13, 16 2:42 PM
3 members liked this comment
Well, maybe you need to put GPS in the Town trucks, that will show you exactly his job performance all day!
By Bugal (14), Hampton Bays on May 13, 16 2:51 PM
3 members liked this comment
Lets do criminal background checks on all town and school employees, and your friends too. You would be surprised! The Hampton Bays School District has employee(s) working right now that stole money! One from Southampton Town, the other, the same 9/11 fund, but unlike Warren got closed door deals. Though I did hear Warren was offered 3 days to pay it back and could not.
By Ref11 (14), hampton bays on May 13, 16 3:22 PM
1 member liked this comment
What a surprise. Pols can't find a way to do the right thing but they can bloviate about "if it was up to me". I can't understand why people are apathetic about politics.[rolleyes]
By dnice (2343), Hampton Bays on May 13, 16 3:31 PM
I'm guessing a town employee can' tbe fired without cause and since he didn't steal while working for the town and as stated in the article, doesn't handle money for the town, presumably there is no "cause" to fire him and doing so would just result in a wrongful termination lawsuit.
By Rich Morey (351), East Hampton on May 13, 16 4:17 PM
2 members liked this comment
Yep because it is wrong to terminate a thief. I get it.
By dnice (2343), Hampton Bays on May 14, 16 8:43 PM
So many disturbing issues this year on the East End. What has happened to our communities?
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on May 13, 16 6:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
Government unions are to blame.
By Babyboo (266), Hampton Bays on May 14, 16 7:37 AM
I thought employees were bonded to access businesses, homes and government places????
By knitter (1656), Southampton on May 13, 16 6:55 PM
What ever happened to being terminated for moral turpitude?
By sgt202 (75), Hampton Bays on May 13, 16 7:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
I'm afraid that in SH that comes with a 300k handshake...
By V.Tomanoku (704), southampton on May 13, 16 9:03 PM
2 members liked this comment
Great. Now,somehow, he will be stealing water. Could've been a public school teacher. Untouchable.
By Lets go mets (343), Southampton on May 13, 16 7:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Babyboo (266), Hampton Bays on May 14, 16 7:37 AM
2 members liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Lets go mets (343), Southampton on May 13, 16 7:48 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By V.Tomanoku (704), southampton on May 13, 16 9:06 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By GoldenBoy (339), EastEnd on May 13, 16 9:37 PM
Funny how the supervisor says he wants to fire him but can't (which I know is true) but that the town board could have disciplined him but chose not to. So, he laments what he can't do but doesn't do what he could do. Why even say anything at all then? To look tough? He should just keep his mouth shut. Typical politician B.S.
By HB90 (157), southampton on May 13, 16 11:43 PM
3 members liked this comment
He really has no soul. The little he gets from stealing will come back to him whether its nobody visiting him in the hospital or going to a party or his funeral. The material things won't mean much when it matters.
By lirider (265), Hampton Bays on May 14, 16 8:15 AM
2 members liked this comment
I wouldn't want the guy near my property
By Lets go mets (343), Southampton on May 14, 16 8:30 AM
Time for a change at the HB water district! They are all related except for maybe 2 or 3 of them!
By Bugal (14), Hampton Bays on May 14, 16 9:19 AM
1 member liked this comment
Jay Schneider man is a typical lying politician. Who do you think signs these ridiculous employment contracts? Guys like him need votes from employees so he panders to cops and everybody else who gets a goat paycheck. So we are left a pension problem, and morally corrupt employees. Stop acting stupid Jay no wonder Trump will be president.
By chief1 (2663), southampton on May 14, 16 12:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
If True is just just another case of where the municipal unions are screwing the taxpayer. Why is Long Island so un-affordable. Repeat first sentence...Committing crimes and going out with a pension or this.
By North Sea Citizen (528), North Sea on May 15, 16 6:28 AM
How about "conduct unbecoming"? many union workers have lost their job over it.
By blbandit (20), Southampton on May 15, 16 7:30 AM
WHERE IS Mr Booth doing his community service hours.........hope not at the firehouse....Alyssa please give us an update this is important info....
By watchdog1 (517), Southampton on May 15, 16 12:20 PM
According to See Through NY he makes just over $68,000 a year. Can't they take some money out every week from his salary to repay the money he stole?
By Rich Morey (351), East Hampton on May 15, 16 1:25 PM
Maybe the HBWA quoted 27East his base pay. Don't forget about the overtime, which is probably included in the seethroughny.net figure! And let's not forget about the free healthcare, which I am sure includes dental and vision, and of course I am sure he can bank all those "unused" sick days for a nice payout when he retires earlier than the rest of us on his pension.
By Babyboo (266), Hampton Bays on May 16, 16 6:33 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Non-Political (88), Hampton Bays on May 19, 16 12:30 PM
Why hide behind an "alias"? A coward stands amongst the masses and casts stones. First off I have a very deep connection to the events of 9/11 and am a friend of Mr Booth's. Am I proud of what he did? NO I am not and have told him to his face like any man or "true friend" would. Warren fell to temptation. Hmmm, nobody knows a family member or friend that has been a victim to that I guess. His solution to his problem was a act of extremely poor judgment . It cost him his reputation and the embarrassment ...more
By MarkGregory (1), on May 19, 16 2:26 PM
Mr. Gregory, when people speak face to face they choose what they say to whom. When on the internet, one is speaking to untold numbers of people, some of whom are nut jobs. Anyone who has been involved in on-line forums for any length of time, has most likely witnessed bad behavior. Therefore, it is common for people to select a screen name. That is also why forums provide the option of doing so. Personally, I am not saying anything here that I wouldn't say in person. I of course can't speak ...more
By bb (862), Hampton Bays on May 21, 16 7:47 PM
Mr Gregory, I can respect your point! As friends it is our job to be honest with each other, no matter how painful the truth is. My disagreement with you is the fact that you state he should keep his job. He is a thief, and a liar, points that you as a friend try to overlook. If he had not be caught then he would most likely continue with stealing funds that do not belong to him. Why should he be allowed to keep his benefits, his potential pension and all the perks that go with it? We can do ...more
By yanks27titles (15), eastport on May 24, 16 10:55 AM
1 member liked this comment
To your point - doesn't the bank bear some responsibility here? There isn't one responsible banker who said - "maybe this isn't correct?" ...enough to take a close look on the account? I asked this because my family had a tenant that took a check and forged my Dad's signature and recouped his deposit monies - and the bank didn't even blink ... strange local banking.
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on May 27, 16 9:38 AM
If Mr. Booth was on the checking account, there is absolutely no reason why the bank would question. It is up to the accountants or others who oversee the fund to ask why the checks were written, or the withdrawals were made. I don't know of any bank that asks you why you wrote a check or why you are withdrawing money from an account you are authorized on.
By bb (862), Hampton Bays on Jun 3, 16 10:20 AM
Thank you MarkGregory for expressing what many of us who have known Warren our whole lives have been thinking. A lifetime of community service can be completely overshadowed by one desperate, foolish illegal act. I certainly don't excuse what happened, but do not want to deny Warren the opportunity to repay for what he did and try to repair the damage he did to his good name!
By MikeTerry (4), Hampton Bays, New York on May 20, 16 10:14 AM
I fail to see where community service, negates theft. There is a long history of people in this, and other communities, who are involved in community activities who then steal from them. This is not a new story. There are also thousands of people who volunteer countless hours and would never take a dime.

As far as Mr. Booth committing "one desperate, foolish, illegal act", well I have to disagree. I have no idea why he'd be desperate. Certainly there are others in our community who ...more
By bb (862), Hampton Bays on May 21, 16 8:03 PM
when you start taking small amounts of money over a period of time it soon mounts up,if one is a gambler then the thinking is one more bet will win it all back and no one will know,,,,no idea if this was the case but I do feel for his family and hope he gets the help he needs while the threat of probation violation is over his head and NO easy community service assignment like showing up at the firehouse,,,it will not do him any faver..
By watchdog1 (517), Southampton on May 21, 16 4:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
It's called GREED!! Intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food!
By Bugal (14), Hampton Bays on May 23, 16 4:25 PM
How does he hold his head up and look into the camera? What was the money he stole used for - Can't somebody expose his crime beyond the pilfering? Was it gambling? Drug dealing? Child pornography ring? Where there is smoke there is fire people. What is beneath the thievery? Does anyone know - please someone tell me.... His community service should be physically challenging so that he really gets the message - cleaning beaches, leaning over and picking something up like a piece of garbage ...more
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on May 27, 16 9:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
And cut off his beer allowance... that would get a freaking reaction...
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on May 27, 16 9:39 AM
1 member liked this comment
Future Stars, Summer Camps,