Judge Orders Mayor To Testify On Alleged Destruction Of Evidence

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One of the village’s LED streetlights shortly before midnight. (Photo by Mike Adams)

Nassau County Supreme Court Judge Denise Sher ruled on Friday that Village of Great Neck Mayor Pedram Bral has to testify before the court on Jan. 27 at a hearing in response to claims the village tampered with evidence in a suit over the village’s streetlights.

Great Neck resident Judy Youngblood is currently suing Bral, the village trustees and the village as a whole over claims that the board misled residents into thinking the LED street lights the village has installed over the past two years would be shielded to prevent the light from disturbing villagers in their homes. Youngblood’s attorney Tamara Harris argues that constitutes a violation of New York Public Buildings Law section 143.2, passed in 2014, which states that any roadway lighting installed by a public government agency above a certain brightness level must be fully shielded.

Youngblood and other Great Neck residents have complained both publicly and to the court that the unshielded street lights are too bright. Youngblood herself said that one light in particular, stationed just across the street from her home on Colgate Road, seriously impares her ability to sleep at night and has hurt both her quality of life and the value of her home.

The defense has argued that the lights are reasonably dimmed after a certain hour to avoid disturbing residents, and submitted property assessment documents showing no noteworthy depreciation in the value of Youngblood’s home since the lights were installed.
Central to the ongoing case, first filed nearly two years ago, are the plaintiff’s claims that the board committed fraud when they allegedly said that the lights would be shielded when installed at a series of board meetings over the summer of 2017. Meeting minutes the defense has submitted to the court make no mention of any such statements. The prosecution has requested audio recordings of the meetings from the village, but the village says they no longer exist. The prosecution claims this inability to produce the recordings stems from the village having intentionally destroyed them.

“There were recordings of the meeting of that misrepresentation, but the village claimed the recordings get deleted after one month,” Harris said. “Long story short, the story kept changing. So the judge wanted a hearing to determine if there was an intentional destruction of evidence.”

The defense has said claims the village destroyed evidence are untrue.

“I exerted no control over [Village Clerk] Joe Gill or anyone else in retention or disposition of village records or the audio recordings that are the subject of this motion,” Bral wrote in an affidavit received by the court on Oct. 31. “I have not directed any person to dispose of the subject audio recordings of village board of trustees meetings. I have not disposed of any of the subject audio recordings.”

The mayor is scheduled to testify before the court, located at 1 Supreme Court Dr. in Mineola, on Monday, Jan. 27 at 9:30 a.m.

6 COMMENTS

  1. No Municipality, No Neighbor, No Business, No One has any kind of right to cause Light Trespass to another property & where it is Not wanted, PERIOD !!

  2. I love the LED lights, and wish that they were brighter. We need more lighting for greater safety for pedestrians and drivers alike. This lawsuit is a nuisance. Why weren’t people in favor of the lights interviewed? Very unbalanced representation.

  3. Whatever the case with the ‘recordings’ and ‘evidence’, glare bombs such as the one this lady is having to suffer with are not OK. It’s really a matter of basic decency.

  4. My comment …, The Mass Rapid proliferation & Adoption of LED Streetlights & outdoor lighting is little more than a money-making racket. Another way to save energy & is healthier for people & wildlife is to turn off lights and/or to dim lighting to acceptable levels. When we begin to accept that some level of darkness at nighttime is natural then and Only then can we consider ourselves True Environmentalists. Now, because LED lighting is much less expensive to run, what’s happening is that we are over lighting & many of them are even on during the sunniest of days (talk about being wasteful). We are using light in places that we haven’t before(Jevons Paradox). Ms. Judith Youngblood is using her own money to fight this in court. The Mayor, Board of Trustees & the Village are the ones who broke New York State Law by causing unwanted Light Trespass AND They are using Tax Payer money to drag this out in court…, when a very simple fix could have been applied to the Streetlight in question. The outrage should be directed at the mayor, the board of trustees & the village in general for not taking into consideration, the comfort, health & well-being of the residents of Great Neck (of which many are opposed to these Particular LED Streetlights). No Municipalities, No Neighbor, No Business Owners, No School, No One has the right to cause Unwanted Light Trespass unto someone’s home, PERIOD !! Now, I’m Not totally against LED Lighting, as long as it is done right (2700K or Less, Non-Flickering, Fully Shielded, aimed Downward & ONLY where it is needed(Streets & Sidewalks), Filtered, Diffused, No Bare Diodes & only as Bright as is needed).

  5. This is news? Can I bring a lawsuit because I don’t like the smell of the roads when they get repaved? At what point to we say, “enough!” I want well lit streets. Let this lady install shades, and let the village do its job to protect us.

  6. Are you afraid to post anything negative about your articles? People don’t agree with you and you never post comments contrary to you. Sad.

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