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Creighton: Campaign Donations Won't Decide KPE Vote

Councilman has taken more than $3,000 in campaign donations from Farrell Fritz's Political Action Committee, the law firm representing the pre-cast concrete business.

Smithtown Councilman Robert Creighton said he will abstain from voting on Kings Park pre-cast concrete's request to legalize their business due to concerns over campaign contributions he's received by KPE II's law firm.

Creighton, who is running for Smithtown supervisor, has taken more than $3,000 in campaign donations from Farrell Fritz's Political Action Committee, the law firm representing KPE II, located in Kings Park off Old Northport Road and Lawrence Road since 2010.

The town board is scheduled to vote on KPE II's request to legalize 13 industrial business uses on Thursday night. Smithtown's Board of Zoning Appeals denied the application Feb. 12.

"I’m going to abstain on the matter because of the appearance of conflict. I don’t think there is conflict, I vote based on conscience not where my son works," Creighton said.

Creighton's son, Robert C. Creighton, is a partner who works for the Uniondale-based law firm. Farrell Fritz also has offices in Hauppauge, Bridgehampton and New York City.

The councilman said he runs an annual golf outing for his son's law firm, which he estimated has more than 200 employees. The campaign contributions have been a result of his personal ties to the firm, not the KPE case, according to Creighton.

"Have I done something wrong by taking contributions from my son’s law firm?" Creighton said.

Kings Park and Commack residents complained of explosive-like noises and odorscoming from KPE II's property at the Nov. 27 public hearing. They have formed a group, Old Northport Road Lawrence Road Task Force, that has circulated emails calling for people attend Thursday night's vote.

Councilman Ed Wehrheim has also taken $800 in campaign contributions from Farrell Fritz law offices.

Creighton said no residents have contacted him or his office wanting to talk about his campaign contributions or the KPE II decision. He has invited anyone concerned to call him and set up a meeting.

John Jay Lavalle, chairman of Suffolk County's Republican committee, called residents questioning of Creighton's ethics "ridiculous nonsense."

"I get it that there’s residents who are opposed to such application but to make such outlandish allegations where then’s full disclosure to the public is nonsense," LaValle said.

LaValle said New York has strict laws on elected officials' full disclosure of all campaign contributions, strictly adhered to by all candidates. He said residents' knowledge of Creighton's donations is a clear sign the system is working.

The GOP leader said Creighton's choice to abstain is based on the public's perception there may be conflict, and not a real issue.

"He’s a very ethical man and will always conduct himself appropriately. Always has, always will and that’s why residents place so much trust on him," LaValle said.

Creighton also admitted he's also taken small donations, less than $100 each, from USA Recycling Facility and USA Environmental Resource, owned by Anthony Leteri. Leteri has a pending application to rezone 4.6 acres from residential to wholesale industry before Smithtown Board of Zoning Appeals.

The councilman said he wasn't aware he had accepted donations from Leteri, who is a long-time Kings Park friend before he ran for office..

Erik Carlson February 28, 2013 at 01:59 PM
Wow, this gets better all the time!
lisa February 28, 2013 at 02:06 PM
So per Creighton's quote in Newsday, is he saying for the past 2 years he has taken contributions from KPE2's attorney and at the same time has also taken our phone calls, emails, letters pleading for help as he looked the other way, (as far as I know he never once replied to anyone of the residents dealing with the problems), but today on February 28th, 2013 he is abstaining? He had a big part of it for 2 years, didn't ever try to abstain during the whole course of this issue. Why didn't he tell us there was a conflict of interest, he had 2 years to do that! http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/town-considers-asking-court-to-close-kings-park-composter-1.4724544?print=true Annandale Road resident's backyard day and night.... taken on February 27th, 2013 https://www.dropbox.com/s/ol8gwzimga5fcdn/2-27-2013%203-35-08%20PM.AVI https://www.dropbox.com/s/opxbu7o0boipp5s/2-27-2013%203-41-36%20PM.AVI and taken today: https://www.dropbox.com/s/rad3k84o3ftzagr/2-28-2013%208-02-54%20AM.AVI https://www.dropbox.com/s/1tlubmhcyspb887/2-28-2013%208-10-44%20AM.AVI
timeiseverything February 28, 2013 at 02:16 PM
It is refreshing that all of his financials are available to the public. It seems reasonable that his attorney son would support his father.I would be concerned if he didn't! t think what he is saying is there was no conflict of interest. There was no attempt to hide donations from his son. He voted with his conscience. It is said that because we have been under the rule of Patrick Vecchio people like yourself do not seem to understand the word conscience.
ChudleyQ February 28, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Refreshing? No, it's the law. What is also the law is Article 30 of the Smithtown Town Code. It's the section on "Ethics". It applies to Mr. Creighton, Mr. Wehrheim and all officers and employees of the town (and others). It says that they should be "independent, impartial and free from conflicts of interest in fulfilling their public responsibilities so that the public will have confidence in the integrity of its Town government." It also says, "No official or employee shall engage in any act which is in conflict or gives the appearance of conflict with the performance of the official's or employee's duties. An official or employee shall be deemed to have a conflict of interest if: (1) The person willfully engages in any business transaction or professional activity or shall have a financial or other private interest, direct or indirect, or incurs any obligation of any nature which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of the official's or employee's duties, unless such officer or employee abstains from voting or otherwise officially acting with respect to the subject matters affected.
ChudleyQ February 28, 2013 at 02:31 PM
So the real question is, if Mr. Creighton is so above board about this, why is this all just coming out now? Did he forget where his son was employed? Did he forget where he got the campaign contributions from? Apparently, Mr. Wehrheim forgot too, since he hasn't said a word about his Conflict of interest. This just once and for all proves that this town has its politics built upon a foundation that lacks ethics and acountability. Town Council is a Kangaroo Court and its members are just a bunch of Kangaroos.
timeiseverything February 28, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Ok you are obviously an attorney. So you probably understand the phrase "unless such officer or employee abstains from voting". Where is the story here? Creighton's son and his friends attended some golf outings? Very different than Mr. Vecchio repeatedly reminding local business owners who come before the Board that he'd love to help them out but hasn't seen them at his fundraisers. Ask around , Chud. The people of Smithtown have been aware of his corruption and intimidation for years. Since you seem to be so knowledgeable can you let the public know how we can get a copy of Mr. Vecchio's donations over the past 30 years?
ChudleyQ February 28, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Not "obviously an attorney". kpresiden999, why do you keep making this about Vecchio? It's not. This is about the lack of morality and ethics of Creighton. If you read the ethics section closely, it doesn't JUST say about abstaining from the vote. It also says "or otherwise officially acting with respect to the subject matters affected." It's not just the vote. He should NEVER have taken part in any of it. He should never have helped frame the debate? Anything he says on the subject carries a taint of undue influence. You should stop giving him a pass on this. He messed up big time on this. Time for him to put on the big boy pants and step up and say that. I doubt he will, though, since he's obsessed with beating Vecchio. It's time for him to stop trying to GET the job, and for him to start actually DOING the job.
timeiseverything February 28, 2013 at 02:53 PM
This is all about Vecchio who has run this entire township into the ground. I give Creighton a lot of credit running against the dope. I have been personally subjected to Vecchio's antics as have many others. Mother Teresa could run against Vecchio and he would launch a smear campaign with the help of the his sidekicks McCarthy and the Smithtown News. Talk about DOING THE JOB, how much time did Vecchio spend over the past few days writing his embarrassing letter to Lavalle, contacting the media, ranting on the phone, digging through Creighton's financials, making sure he called Newsday and The Smithtown News with this "breaking story". Has he decided that not only should the taxpayers put up with his dismissive, nasty ways but that he doesn't have to serve as Town Supervisor for the next 6 months?
ChudleyQ February 28, 2013 at 04:05 PM
With all due respect, kpresiden999, your argument is a ridiculous one. The fact that Vecchio may be a miserable old man and run this town into the ground has NOTHING to do with what Creighton has done. If Vecchio robbed ten banks and Creighton only robbed 5, it still makes Creighton a bank robber, doesn't it? You can keep dragging this back to Vecchio if you want, but the fact will still remain that Creighton violated the Town Code of Ethics. Wehrheim did too. If you want to be ignorant about this, that's absolutely your right. If you've been subjected to the "antics" of Vecchio, you shouldn't vote for him. Vote for who you want. But to me your willfull blindness to the reality of CREIGHTON'S misconduct, and your misguided loyalty to him illustrate why we're stuck with all five of these "Kangaroos". I'm pretty sure you'd have a different take on this, if you heard the noise or smelled the odors from KPE.
Sal February 28, 2013 at 04:12 PM
ChudleyQ - Don't waste your time, KPresiden999 must be Creighton's son too...
lisa February 28, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Petition for our towns is doing great! http://www.change.org/petitions/smithtown-hall-representatives-shut-down-all-companies-that-do-not-comply-with-current-town-codes#intro
timeiseverything February 28, 2013 at 04:25 PM
Since you seem to be knowledgeable about all this insider stuff can you tell me where I can find a copy of Mr. Vecchio's donors online. I know the guy who is redoing the old Ground Round claims he got that spot bc he is friends with pat. I also heard that is where his fundraiser is. Funny how Vecchio's cronies have no trouble remodeling or building but I cannot even get signage done bc Vecchio says no.
KPNY February 28, 2013 at 04:31 PM
All you have to do is look at the aerial photo that is posted with this article to realize what is happening to our town. How is this acceptable to anyone?Is this the kind of business we want in the Town? How do businesses like this bring anything positive to the community? I'm mad as hell about all of this...the politics...the cover ups ...the blatant disregard for our laws...the smoke & mirrors...I agree with Creighton's slogan..."the status quo must go"... However,it appears now that he must go too! Can I get a witness?
KPNY February 28, 2013 at 04:34 PM
Google...and welcome to the 21st century!
ChudleyQ February 28, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Not an insider, and not knowledgeable at all about the donations. I would start with the Suffolk County Board of Elections at Phone: (631) 852-4500. I'm sure they can help you. This whole KPE thing has really opened my eyes to my local government. I'm appalled at what I've seen. As for what KPNY said above, I'll give him/her a solid "AMEN".
timeiseverything February 28, 2013 at 04:38 PM
If you get million likes will your daddy buy you a puppy??? Just looked at your petition it is signed by people in Brooklyn, Fl, California, . It is not really an accurate representation of the town.
timeiseverything February 28, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Thank you for the Google advice. I did that and realized Mr. vecchio's donors must be hidden because they are not available. All I see is that he spends more of his donations on "car maintenance" than I could ever imagine. Maybe his car is as old and as him
Stevo February 28, 2013 at 08:12 PM
I didn't think they made cars before he was born.
timeiseverything February 28, 2013 at 09:49 PM
Wow found out all sorts of things looking at those financial disclosures. Vecchio has taken quite a bit of money from the Mr. Leteri you mention in your article. And law firms whose names are very familiar to those of us who go to the Town Board. And RESTURANTS . He must eat very very well!!!!! Patch might want to take a look at those .
mary wellbourne February 28, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Where did you see this or is it all imagined, I think the latter!
KP Angie February 28, 2013 at 10:05 PM
So Creighton ran golf outings for the money. Did Wehrheim caddy? He got money too. Smithtown taxpayers have been given so many lies, it is insulting. We need to remove all the corrupt politicians on the Smithtown Board.
KPNY February 28, 2013 at 10:43 PM
Why you hatin' on Leteri?
timeiseverything February 28, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Think all candidates run golf outings. A foursome usually costs 800 so that makes sense . Guess it is now a sin to play golf with your buddies. I really don't know Leteri but Patch article mentions Creighton received money from him. So did Vecchio. I found that out by going to Board of Elections Campaign Disclosures. There is some interesting stuff there!
KPperson March 17, 2013 at 03:13 PM
Randy, why didn't Creighton make his conflict to KPEII public knowledge when he voted to hire a consultant last year to rezone the property? Why was Creighton unhappy with the Board of Zoning Appeals when they denied KPEII's Certificate of Use Application? Why is Town Attorney Zollo (Your Buddy and a Creighton Fundraising aly), not being forthcoming to the residents in the area? Why didn't Creighton give the KPEII Political Action Committee back? Who is giving money for GOLF OUTING IN THE WINTER TIME? Why are Creighton and Wehrheim taking significant campaign donations from property owners in another part of the industrial area? These same property owners have applications filed with the town to change their zoning to Heavy Industry. Why is the Creighton, Malloy and Wehrheim team ignoring residents concerns in favor of businesses who are performing illegal activity? Why are you, Creighton and Wehrheim threatening everyone in the Smithtown Republican Committee that they will be voted out if they don't back Creighton?
KPperson March 17, 2013 at 03:19 PM
Randy, I find it odd that the guys who Vecchio has carried for all these years and voted IN-LINE with him, up until they decided to take over two years ago, are now stabbing him in the back? Why did Creighton, Malloy and Wehrheim change 77 line items in this years budget to give raises across the board to town employees? Why would Creighton and Malloy, who are supposed to be conservative, raise taxes for the tax paying residents in Smithtown by changing these 77 budget items?It seems to those who learn the facts, that a vote for Creighton means a vote for higher taxes. Facts are a killer, eh Randy?

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