Questionable Integrity - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1825603

Questionable Integrity

I have not lived in the East End for many years, but I am a full-time, voting Southampton resident who cares greatly about local elections.

I don’t understand how Barbara Wilson can be running for town justice given a recent court case in which she was sued for defamation of character, and lost. As an officer of the court myself, I have always understood that a judge should possess a certain temperament and demeanor that enables her to dispense justice even-handedly and with unquestionable integrity. I have always held judges in high esteem and refer to them as “honorable.”

Not knowing Barbara Wilson, candidate for town justice, I googled her name. Much to my shock, the second Google entry was an article in The Sag Harbor Express dated October 30, 2019, which said she was ordered to pay $250,000 in damages to her neighbor for defamation of character. According to the article, at “a Southampton Village Board of Architectural Review and Historic Preservation meeting on April 13, 2015, Ms. Wilson — who had an application before the board to modify her home by installing a staircase on the exterior of her house on Elm Street — accused [her] neighbor [who had challenged her application] … of being a ‘sexual predator’ and ‘sexual pedophile’ … prompting [her neighbor] to file the defamation suit. After a three-day trial, which included Ms. Wilson taking the stand, a six-member jury deliberated for 40 minutes … and determined that Ms. Wilson damaged [her neighbor’s] character. She was ordered to pay $250,000 for damages.”

Is this type of conduct appropriate for a Southampton Town justice? I think not.

Fortunately, I can vote for other qualified candidates and remove Barbara Wilson from the bench. I will vote for Shari Oster and Adam Grossman for town justice.

Ron Klausner

Water Mill