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Dec 16, 2008 3:23 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Town employee suspended for racist messages referring to the president-elect

Dec 16, 2008 3:23 PM

A Southampton Town employee has been suspended without pay after being accused of sending other town employees racist and potentially threatening electronic messages related to President-elect Barack Obama shortly after Election Day.

According to several town officials with firsthand knowledge of the comments, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity, Jason Judy, employed by the Parks Department, used a racial epithet to refer to the president-elect and talked about burning down the White House. It is unclear how many messages were sent and if they were sent via text or e-mail.

Though the officials would not speak publicly, citing pending litigation, Town Supervisor Linda Kabot confirmed that Mr. Judy was involved in a disciplinary matter with the town involving workplace violence and bias, and that the situation was related to the recent election of President-elect Obama. Ms. Kabot also confirmed that other agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service, had been involved in the case.

The supervisor would comment no further on the case, except to say it would be handled by the Southampton Town Board in executive session. “We are not going to try this case in the newspapers,” Ms. Kabot said.

It is unclear how the Secret Service became involved, although one town official said that in such matters it is standard for the town to notify the appropriate agencies.

Kenneth Pleasant, resident agent with the Secret Service field office in Melville, confirmed that the case was an open investigation involving the Town of Southampton but would not comment further.

At its last meeting on Tuesday, December 9, the Town Board appointed Eileen Powers, a former town attorney, to act as the hearing officer in Mr. Judy’s disciplinary proceeding, which will be held on Tuesday, December 23. That hearing will deal only with Mr. Judy’s future with the Town of Southampton, according to Ms. Kabot.

Electronic messages sent using town equipment are subject to public review, under terms of the Freedom of Information Act. But requests to access Mr. Judy’s electronic messages were denied because of the ongoing investigation, according to Town Attorney Dan Adams. “Mr. Judy is presumed innocent,” Mr. Adams said. “In this country, from the highest levels of government to the lowest levels of government, we are entitled to the presumption of innocence, and that applies to Mr. Judy.”

Mr. Adams said he was unsure whether or not Mr. Judy had retained legal counsel. Town officials would not provide contact information for Mr. Judy, though messages asking to speak with him were relayed to him with the help of town officials. His number did not appear to be listed, and other attempts to contact him were unsuccessful.

BRIAN BOSSETTA

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It is unclear how the Secret Service became involved?!?

Really?

It seems like a threat against the Executive, and that falls within the purview of the U.S. Secret Service.
By Frank Wheeler (1776), Northampton on Dec 18, 08 9:42 AM
What does this behavior/action say about the culture in our SH Town Hall. These comments were written and sent. I wonder what things are spoken by some employees of the town, where there is no record. How did this person felt so comfortable to say these things? "Things that make you go hmmm..."
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Dec 18, 08 11:14 AM
I'm not surprised that this happened. What's funny is that the town hall has a sign that says bias free zone at the entries. Is that something they put up just to make themselves feel better?

Having grown up in this town, it's disappointing how much racism and bias exists here. More suspensions should take place for behaviors like this, and this goes for things said as well. "0" tolerance.
By landarchi (33), Southampton on Dec 18, 08 3:10 PM
this smacks of political mayhem, I personally know Mr. Judy and know this is unlike him. I also know someone else in the parks dept is trying to get his son in law a job and the only way at the moment to get him in is to get someone out. I know for a fact that this text was sent to Mr. Judy by someone else and that he simply fowared it to some else, obviously this person showed it to someone else. hopefully this will all come out at the hearing, but I assure you Mr Judy would not makee a threat ...more
By typical (61), southampton on Dec 19, 08 8:37 AM
Dear Sir: I tried to contact Mr. Judy for this article and was unable to. I would love to speak with him in order to give him his fair say. If you do know him, please convey to him that I welcome his call. Thank you.
By Brian Bossetta (17), Southampton on Dec 19, 08 10:47 AM
to whom it may concern.I have known Mr Judy for some odd 32 years ,and have been in constant contact with him through out this whole debauchery ,you see as it turns out NO ONE untill 2 days ago actually attempted to speak with him regarding his side ,and in fact the truth is the text message in question WAS sent among dozens and dozens of others thru other parties in his OWN department ,and were actually sent by people he after some 13 years with the town were his friends and also part of his crew ...more
By localboy (7), hampton bays on Dec 19, 08 7:06 PM
Dear Sir: As I mentioned to the gentleman above who commented, if you know Mr. Judy please tell him that I would love to hear from him so he can have his full say. We have made numerous attempts to contact him, including leaving messages with town officials, but were unable to. I welcome his call any time. I will meet with him if he desires and promise to provide him with every opportunity to tell his side of the story. I make no assumptions about Mr. Judy whatsoever. Thanks for your interest.
By Brian Bossetta (17), Southampton on Dec 20, 08 11:49 AM
I really find it easy to believe that someone may be trying to railroad Mr. Judy so they can get a Town job.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Dec 20, 08 2:06 PM
Mr. Bossetta, you mean to tell me you could find Mr Judys phone number, or address at alll. I can even make one or two phone calls and get his number. I can get his number and his address on the internet. And Iam not a so called reporter Like you. Are you a reporter, or are you someone thats out to slander Mr. Judy like others. Its amazing how someone can write about someone withhout any so called facts, and say were they came from. O, I forgot, your a so called reporter. All you have to say is ...more
By blue (4), water mill on Dec 21, 08 10:54 AM
Dear Blue:

We did look up Mr. Judy's number. We also left messages with his direct boss and with several town officials that we wanted to speak with him. We also tried, through the town attorney's office, to find out if he had an attorney that we could contact. As I have said in my prior comments, Mr. Judy is welcome to contact me any time and I will give him his fair and equal say and every opportunity to state his case and tell his side of the story.
By Brian Bossetta (17), Southampton on Dec 21, 08 11:32 AM
You know Mr.Bassetta, thats resoning just doesnt cut it with me and I am sure with others. If you really wanted to talk with him, you would have done your job better then that, it seems to me if the New York post could get his phone number, you to could have gotten it, period. Or perhaps, maybe one of the yellow trucks driving around town that says Southampton Parks on the side , you could have asked one of the crew for his phone number, or they could have gotten it for you. Its very simple, you ...more
By blue (4), water mill on Dec 21, 08 12:10 PM
Hey Mr. Blue...do you really think that Mr. Judy is going to talk to the press? He is being investigated! Bossetta's article was reasonable considering what happened. If you are really concerned about the family send them a fruit basket and stop making it worse for them by posting your comments.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Dec 21, 08 9:58 PM
He has, and I have. I am not the one who pulled the trigger. What have you done for his two kids and wife
By blue (4), water mill on Dec 22, 08 2:39 AM
I am not sure what the difference is between writing a racist text message or merely forwarding a racist text message. It's wrong either way, really wrong. Whether he got the message from a co-worker, boss, friend, or whoever, call a spade a spade, it's wrong.

Suggesting the reporter of this article has done something to personally ruin Mr. Judy and his family's holiday is bizarre. Do you honestly think there is some big conspiracy between the town and the person trying to get their son-in-law ...more
By RealLocal (76), Bridgehampton on Dec 22, 08 12:33 PM
Shame on all of you! In this day of zero tolerance I am amazed that employees of our local government would be involved in such behavior. Don't you folks read the newspaper or watch TV? With all of the hate crimes and such that are displayed, I find it hard to stomach people with jobs in government that are allowed to behave like this. Freedom of Speech - bullcrap! You work for the town and should be MADE to behave as employees of a local municipality - I would like to know what Linda Kabot is ...more
By forreal (1), flanders on Dec 22, 08 2:21 PM
WOW first off i agree with mr blue .and no i dont believe in ANY type of racism.period ,but hey wait ,do any of you have friends or SO CALLED friends you shared a dirty joke with ,or made an inappropriate comment ,it happens every deay in every p[lace ,people are people and LIKE IT OR NOT we have the right politicaly ,religiously or otherwise to speak our mind ,hey i personaly find it offensive several times a year Jehovahs witnesses come to my door tring to convert me and my family ....door to ...more
By localboy (7), hampton bays on Dec 29, 08 4:27 PM
test comment.
By unjustifiedjustice (3), hampton bays on Jan 7, 09 12:54 PM
Mr Judy is a good man, who constantly provides for not only his family, but anyone who asks for assistance. If this incident were to happen to anyone else in the parks department, i wonder if they would be facing 2 months of suspension without pay. Maybe racial text messeges shouldn't have been sent or fowarded, however i feel he will have served his time already by the time he served awaiting his "postponed(<<---by the town)" hearing. Transfer the man to highway if the parks dept can't value a ...more
By unjustifiedjustice (3), hampton bays on Jan 7, 09 1:02 PM
Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
Benjamin Franklin

OUR founding fathers knew you cant always remember to censor your freedom of speech or expression nor should you have to ,the difference is ,they believed in the constituition and its rights ,something that seems to have passed by the way side ,thru ignorance and politics ,what kind of America are we living in when a ...more
By localboy (7), hampton bays on Jan 7, 09 6:09 PM
The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.
Thomas Jefferson
By localboy (7), hampton bays on Jan 7, 09 6:22 PM
and my last quote of signifigance seems very fitting to this situation as it is directly how it [all this evolved into this nonsense]........Shared laughter creates a bond of friendships. When people laugh together, they cease to be young and old, teacher and pupils, worker and boss. They become a single group of human beings.
W. Lee Grant
By localboy (7), hampton bays on Jan 7, 09 6:30 PM
if there wasn't a specific plan and an underlying agenda to get rid of Mr. judy, none of this would even be taking place. there would have been a disiplinary action taken against him and it would be done with. There are alternative motives, and they are clear even to a blind man.
By unjustifiedjustice (3), hampton bays on Jan 8, 09 11:48 AM
I know mr judy at least to summers from his time racing at riverhead raceway. from what i have sceen he seems to be a stand up guiy. he workeed hard so his wife didnt haf to so she could stay home with the kidses and keep them out off trobel and keep ther house hold in tack? he has told me about all of the part time jobes he has has over ther yers just to make ends meat. he seemes like the perfect familly man. i mean it cost a lot of money to race and he is still abel to raize his familly pay the ...more
By enduro1 (1), riverhead on Jan 24, 09 2:24 AM
bay burger, sag harbor, sag harbor turnpike