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Dec 1, 2015 11:13 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Tuckahoe Superintendent Arrested, Charged With Felony; Lawyer Says No Criminal Activity Took Place

Dec 2, 2015 8:07 AM

UPDATE: 3:40 p.m.

According to court documents obtained by The Press, Mr. Lucera had admitted to police at the time of the incident that he had "kicked [the door] to get inside since the door was locked." The door was identified as a side door at the front of the house, and it, along with a wooden door frame, had been damaged in an amount exceeding $250, a sworn police statement said.

It is unclear, however, whether Mr. Lucera entered the house before, after or during the argument with his fiancee, who is identified in the documents as his "estranged girlfriend."

Additionally, a sworn statement signed by the woman states that during the argument, Mr. Lucera grabbed her face "and did spit on her while engaged in an argument with her, and to her annoyance and alarm."

The woman could not be reached for comment.

Original Story

Tuckahoe Superintendent Dean Lucera was arrested late last month on a felony charge of criminal mischief, but his lawyer said he expects the charge to be lifted, as no criminal activity took place.

Mr. Lucera, 52, of Manorville was arrested by Southampton Town Police on November 21 after an argument that took place at his fiancee's home on Tanners Neck Lane in Westhampton. He was charged with third-degree criminal mischief, a felony, as well as second-degree harassment, a violation, but Town Police would not provide any additional information at the time because the arrest involved a domestic dispute.

On Tuesday, Town Police Lieutenant Susan Ralph said the department could not comment on the case.

On Tuesday Mr. Lucera referred to his lawyer, Tor Jacob Worsoe Jr. of Holtsville, for comment, but assured that no criminal activity took place during the personal matter. "It will resolve itself expeditiously," he said.

Mr. Worsoe explained that Mr. Lucera, who stays at his fiancee's Westhampton home five days a week, had been locked out of the house and entered it through a side door to retrieve his keys. The hinges of the door, however, had been broken, which is why Mr. Lucera was charged with the criminal mischief offense. A person is charged with third-degree criminal mischief when the cost to repair damage to another person's property exceeds more than $250, according to New York State penal law.

Mr. Worsoe said that particular incident "was way overblown. [The door] was repaired. I don't think it cost his significant other anything," he said.

"He didn’t break in there. He basically went in the home he was living in to retrieve a set of keys,” he added about his client.

As for the second-degree harassment charge, the attorney said that Mr. Lucera and his fiancee did have an argument, but added that there was no physical violence.

"She’s very cooperative. She’s not looking to have him hurt at all,” Mr. Worsoe said, adding that once the fiancee speaks to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office, he believes the charge will be lifted. “She understands that things got out of hand … and now it’s unfortunately in the public eye. I’m pretty confident that it will resolve itself.”

Mr. Lucera, the former district superintendent of the Eastern Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services, was hired to serve as Tuckahoe's superintendent in September and began his position in mid-October. Tuckahoe school officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the arrest.

Mr. Worsoe stressed, though, that his client has not had any prior arrests, or even parking tickets, and is a good fit for his job as superintendent.

“He’s a good guy. He’s excellent for his position," the attorney said. "He’s certainly an asset to the community and someone who does his job very, very well. The bottom line is, it will resolve itself in a favorable fashion.”

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Uhhhhh, charges aren't just filed automatically? You don't break stuff and the second it hits $250 worth of damage with the police automatically come and ticket you. They were called because there was a fight, and this guy broke down a door during it.
This loser was locked out during an argument and broke into the house, continuing the argument. That's domestic violence. This is what scary, threatening men look like. This is what domestic violence looks like people.
So sick of these lawyers ...more
By Brandon Quinn (188), Hampton Bays on Dec 1, 15 11:48 AM
Amen! Brandon is right on the money. This IS what Domestic Violence looks like!
By B-Diz (7), Hampton Bays on Dec 1, 15 3:03 PM
2 members liked this comment
When are the nuptials?
By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on Dec 1, 15 12:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
It may be delayed due to the rewrite of the invitations, "The Bride respectfully asks for no gifts that can be broken when thrown or used as a weapon."
By Q333 (161), Southampton on Dec 2, 15 12:28 AM
Nice, real nice. His position is a waste of taxpayer money.
By bigfresh (4384), north sea on Dec 1, 15 1:12 PM
Looks like a nice guy...Do you think he babysits? Oh wait, he's in charge of the welfare of a bunch of kids.
By lirider (270), Hampton Bays on Dec 1, 15 2:25 PM
2 members liked this comment
Think the school board will help with bills?
By knitter (1725), Southampton on Dec 1, 15 2:53 PM
No criminal activity though. Roflmao
By chief1 (2725), southampton on Dec 1, 15 4:16 PM
That Tuckahoe school is out of control in every sense of the word. When will we learn a person should be judged on merit not on a degree.
By chief1 (2725), southampton on Dec 1, 15 4:44 PM
SO they shouldn't have any educational requirements?
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Dec 1, 15 4:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
His contact with female teachers and children should be eliminated completely. Put him in that empty house and let him do whatever paperwork from there. He should not have daily interactions within the school walls. Despicable brut. That school deserves better.
By july (2), Southampton on Dec 1, 15 4:52 PM
What does a superintendent actually do? What are his responsibilities and is this position really necessary?
By bigfresh (4384), north sea on Dec 1, 15 4:56 PM
making major six figures and he has to kick in a door? should be re-evaluated for his new position. off course the girlfriend will not press charges and he will not face any action even though he grabbed her face and spit on her. what a guy for the students of tuckahoe to look up to.
By xtiego (696), bridgehampton on Dec 1, 15 5:23 PM
Felon be gone! This bully needs to go away. How can he be credible to the students of this school? Please go away asap.
By july (2), Southampton on Dec 1, 15 7:38 PM
Come on folks...tis the season to be making some lemonade out of lemons...
With that being sain.. Join in with me as I share what an educator much like the Esteemed Superintendent might create as a learning opportunity from such an experience
A) how one , under duress, can dial 911
B) how to break and enter with no remorse
C how to rationalize your behavior to law enforcement
D) how better to appreciate the helpfulness of the Miranda warning
E) how to gyrate in the back ...more
By kahuna (67), Tampa on Dec 1, 15 7:38 PM

And to All of you teachers... We know of your plight... Keep those Test Scores soaring... Or it's your nighty night!!!!
By kahuna (67), Tampa on Dec 1, 15 7:55 PM
Perhaps he and the former asst principal in Southampton can make their own reality TV show.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Dec 1, 15 8:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
The lawyer's comments make my skin crawl
By bb (884), Hampton Bays on Dec 1, 15 9:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
who really cares what the idiot lawyer says?
By CaptainSig (709), Dutch Harbor on Dec 1, 15 10:01 PM
Well, well, well, if it isn't the Tuckahoe Superschool in the headline news and making waves again. I was hoping it would be for superior academic performance improvement or renewed, progressive, academic curriculum of recent announcements of "exciting new developments from school Board initiatives", like perhaps 7th graders not counting with their fingers anymore.!

When I read the hiring announcement, I suspended disbelief, said nothing, hoping against my better judgement that this new ...more
By Obbservant (443), southampton on Dec 1, 15 10:00 PM
Sure, my fiancé kicks down the door all the time. .....it's no big deal is it?
By bettyboo (36), Southampton on Dec 1, 15 10:00 PM
They were just making a music video for the song "Break in and spit."
By Q333 (161), Southampton on Dec 2, 15 12:20 AM
1 member liked this comment
This guy should be locked up for the rest of his life, we can not have very dangerous criminals like this out on the streets! Also I just learned that he is in charge of managing the Tuckahoe school system! A dangerous felon in charge of our schools, what's next?
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (690), southampton on Dec 2, 15 7:44 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By BagoBill, Commack on Dec 2, 15 9:43 AM
Which SH Town Police Officer knew the exact cost would exceed the $250?? Was his side business then hired to make the repair after the shift was over?
By Mouthampton (419), Southampton on Dec 2, 15 12:06 PM
1 member liked this comment

Regarding your last posting..
Life is about personal choices.
Had you chosen to complete high school.. You therefore would have been eligible to take the county police exam.
As a result, with a competive score, a professional career with outstanding benefits, opportunities for advancement, and a retirement package second to none. Additionally, your lucrative side job business would therefore put you on easy street.

However, sadly, your chances of wearing ...more
By kahuna (67), Tampa on Dec 2, 15 3:16 PM
Geez Kahuna, what a nasty comment. You're a pretty good example of why Floridians hate New Yorkers.
By Q333 (161), Southampton on Dec 3, 15 10:06 AM
Wow. Defensive much? Let's hope you're not a Hillsborough County Sheriff! My comment was made because I was recently stopped by a SH Town Police Officer checking the temporary plates on a newly purchased pick-up truck. He was polite and thoroughly checked the license and temporary registration...and then said he was letting me go with a warning for having my business's lettering on the truck prior to receiving my plates. And then said I should team up with him and his landscaping business. Seemed ...more
By Mouthampton (419), Southampton on Dec 7, 15 1:09 PM
As an educator myself, I find it absolutely disgraceful that this superintendent remains in his position at Tuckahoe School while these violent charges are still pending. How can young children possibly look up to a "man" who spits in the face of a woman? How can children be taught to respect and not bully, when the leader of their school is bashing in a door and having a temper tantrum because his girlfriend locked him out? How can he possibly be a positive role model? What is going on with ...more
By teachercares (5), Hampton Bays on Dec 2, 15 5:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
This is despicable. I can't believe the school would keep this animal on as their leader.
By Trapper (2), Southampton on Dec 2, 15 5:34 PM
Teachercares and Trapper. The cronyism and incompetence of this Board is legendary, led by an Elvis pompadour coiffed septuagenarian from the 50s whose vision for academic instruction is a relic from the last ice age. It's run not to excel in academics but for the benefit of friends and associates including teachers and many suppliers of who all share in the contracts from a $19 million budget awarded generously without regard to performance.

As a result, you have truly pathetic academic ...more
By Obbservant (443), southampton on Dec 2, 15 8:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
In our little community we have teachers taking heroin, cops taking oxycodone's, principals beating their girlfriend's, principals doing rap video's, judges being censured, and councilman dealing drugs. It's amazing in this day, and age cops, and teacher's don't take urine tests, meanwhile truck driver's, and stock boys have too.
By chief1 (2725), southampton on Dec 2, 15 9:02 PM
3 members liked this comment
Don't forget former SVPD David Betts who beat his then wife with his service revolver but got to retire with full benefits, was handed a job running Code Enforcement and then had the balls to run for public office.
By Q333 (161), Southampton on Dec 3, 15 10:08 AM
3 members liked this comment
Hey - agree with your both - and ALSO don't forget the LOVELY manager of the golf course taking pictures of a very young girl underneath her skirt from a hidden camera. PLEASE let's put him on the roster of the people in whom we place our public trust misusing and abusing that trust, us, themselves, their families as well as their victims. I hope in the case of Dean Lucera that they do not talk the victim out of pressing charges as she must need to since she called the cops when her door was busted ...more
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Dec 3, 15 12:31 PM
1 member liked this comment
Q...if looked at differently.. One might conclude that my comment was in support of the PD...
And by the way.. What bearing does geography have to do with common sense?
The cop does his, her job .. And Einstein speculates that there is some kind of scheme in the works!!??
Where's your supportive evidence for tossing out the word Hate?
By kahuna (67), Tampa on Dec 3, 15 3:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
No story here. The lawyer said the kicking the
door in, grabbing the woman, and spitting in her face was a misunderstanding. Was this guy even suspended?
By chief1 (2725), southampton on Dec 3, 15 8:41 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By BariBee, on Dec 3, 15 10:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
This year, before this incident took place, I had a conversation with a Suffolk County School Superintendent. I asked if Tuckahoe SD, given its enrollment of under 400 students, needed a Principal and a Superintendent? Couldn't one person do both jobs, as I have known districts to do so in the past on the East End. The answer was a resounding "YES!"
Save your money, Tuckahoe Taxpayers~ one person for both jobs, maybe at a higher salary~ one set of benefits, not two; one pension, not two.
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on Dec 4, 15 1:44 PM
4 members liked this comment
LOL, let he(or she) who is without sin cast the first stone.
By dnice (2345), Hampton Bays on Dec 7, 15 1:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
400 kids and 200 employees seems a little excessive. A two to one ratio is actually criminal to taxpayers.
By chief1 (2725), southampton on Dec 8, 15 12:01 PM
1 member liked this comment
Mouthy ... The ass.umption that I might be carrying a badge is as irresponsible as your conclusion about the investigating officer.
Couldnt just let the article stand on face value.
The officer bashing was UN necessary.
All college degrees are not created equally...
Don't try to represent your insightful ness with a worthless piece of paper.
Obviously you over slept your 8:00 am class 101 common sense...

By kahuna (67), Tampa on Dec 8, 15 7:16 PM
In response to "Dnice" - OK - it is true we all have faults - but do you want a man who resorts to violence in his relationships with women to oversee and be around children? Dean Lucera has anger management issues - how is that anger translated to his employees? Children sense that - how does he act towards the children? He must manage this problem and not while he is in a position of authority and public trust. He must be replaced by a more capable well-balanced and professional person who ...more
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Dec 11, 15 2:20 PM
8k run & 3 mile walk, Agawam Park, Southampton Rotary Club fundraiser