The legal wrangling over the July 11 election for Sanitary District 1 commissioner continues after a court hearing on Oct. 6.
“We had ourselves a good day,” said John Ciampoli, who is representing Hewlett resident Gabriel Boxer and the current unofficial leader with 395 votes to Inwood resident Gwynnette Campbell’s 288 votes.
Boxer and Campbell are vying for a four-year term left open when Lino Viola stepped down in April. Campbell was appointed to replace Viola and is serving as a commissioner per an agreement between the two parties. Incumbent Commissioner Jim Vilardi was re-elected to a five-year term.
“The judge ordered the district to produce basically witnesses, (a record of) who is dispending the absentee ballots, procedures, how they are putting out the ballots and their log or record of their process,” Ciampoli said.
Two days after the election, Boxer and the district went to court in an effort to resolve a number of issues — from determining the legality of the manner in which S.D. 1 issued and reviewed absentee ballot applications and issued and distributed those ballots, to deciding whether the counting of the roughly 900 absentee ballots should proceed.
Boxer also questioned whether the district’s vote counting was accurate, and asked the court to order the district to certify the correct count, as well as his win.
Nat Swergold, who is representing the district, has reiterated that there were no were election irregularities.
At the Oct. 6 hearing, Ciampoli claimed that the sanitary district flouted provisions of the Public Officers Law by not providing public documents to Boxer based on a Freedom of Information Law request.
Boxer also claimed that Swergold’s dual representation of the district and Campbell amounted to a conflict of interest; that the district was withholding public information and that the absentee ballot applications, which were set up and distributed by the district, were not in compliance with election.
Ciampoli claims that all the absentee ballots are tainted by the defect. He is asking the court to invalidate the absentee ballots and order that the original elections results be certified, or have the court set aside the election and order a new one under the court’s supervision.
“(It’s) moving in the right direction,” Ciampoli said about the case. The next court date is Nov. 1.