After introducing Christian Morris to the board, it was time to get down to business.
And one thing new Whitehall Town Supervisor Richard “Geezer” Gordon wants Morris, the new attorney for the town, to get resolved is the current litigation against the Longtins.
“I want that case cleared up,” said Gordon at the Jan. 13 town board meeting. “It started here in the town and I have the lawyer’s fees to prove it.”
The town’s lawsuit against Keith and Sherry Longtin resulted from a dispute over cleaning up property they own on Route 4/22, which has numerous boats scattered throughout the property that the town considered a violation of the junkyard ordinance.
Gordon said when the case came before him when he served as town justice in 2006, he had made a decision in terms of penalties for the Longtins.
“In 2006, I had him in my courtroom and was going to fine home $100 a day for every day that the property was not cleaned up,” said Gordon. “The day before I was supposed to make my ruling, the former town attorney (Andy Kelly) came to me and said that he was going to withdraw the case from my court and take it to Superior Court.”
Since then, Gordon said, the proceedings and legal motions have continued.
“As of right now, there is currently a motion for a contempt order for Mr. Longtin and there could be a further motion by the town at the end of the month,” said Gordon. “All I can say is that I want this case cleared up.”
Morris said the motion is in Superior Court because there is evidence to suggest that Longtin has not fully cleaned the property, but rather has hidden boats out of sight.
“Longtin has been served with a notice to inspect,” said Morris. “We are also looking into an inspection notice for over there and there is evidence to support us getting one.”
Gordon said a contempt order could cost the Longtins as much as $30,000 in additional fines.
Repeated attempts to reach the Longtins for comment were unsuccessful.