The Fixers - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1842101

The Fixers

The frivolous lawsuit brought by the owner of the iconic brick courtyard on historic Jobs Lane against the Southampton Village Board [“Courtyard Owner Files Suit,” December 9] proves once again that anyone can sue anyone, even with claims totally lacking merit.

The defendants should carefully read my August 6, 2018, letter to the Village Planning Board, which I had read into the record of that public hearing. In that letter, I explained several sections of 6 CRRNY 617.7, the state environmental review law, which John Vigna violated when he put up a stockade fence impeding access to the courtyard (public space for more than three decades) — specifically 617.7c(1)(viii), about change in use of open space.

Thus, Mr. Vigna was in violation of state law the moment he put up that stockade fence. And, as for his frivolous lawsuit, at 5 feet 1 inch tall, I have no problem whatsoever looking into his destruction of that courtyard. A video that ran on local WCBS-TV in 2018 shows reporter Carolyn Gusoff interviewing me looking over that illegal fence.

I urge the defendants to immediately remove that lawsuit (with a countersuit) to federal court. State judges are uniquely susceptible to the power of campaign contributions. Not that federal judges are less susceptible to pressures. As George Semerjian used to tell me, “Evelyn, every judge is just one phone call away.”

That cynical evaluation of judges came to mind in 2012, when I brought suit against then Mayor Mark Epley, former Trustee Paul Robinson and Village Assistant Attorney Elbert W. Robinson Jr., for fraud and corruption, a suit that the Southampton Association should have brought. Six days after I filed, the then chief judge of the Eastern District, Carol Bagley Amon, substituted another Bush-appointee, Joseph Bianco, for Judge Lou Wexler, chosen by the wheel.

A year later, when I had put over 1,000 pages of incriminating documents from the village’s own files on the docket, EDNY magistrate judge E. Thomas Boyle, a former solo practitioner from Hampton Bays, issued an R&R (report and recommendation) that was wrong about the law and wrong about the facts in 43 pages of character assassination. Judge Bianco, the fixer, knew better than rely on that spurious R&R. He claimed a de novo review of the case and unethically threatened me with financial ruin if I, as a plaintiff, sued this village again.

Nonetheless, the defendants should remove this lawsuit from state court to federal court, where the plaintiff’s multiple violations of state and village law in the past two years would resonate. As an attorney, I have a right to represent anyone who wants my representation, regardless of “the fixer’s” improper threats.

Evelyn Konrad