Caretaker: Owners of former Dowling College property on campus following recent break-in

Legislator Anthony Piccirillo says Mercury International needs to do their job regarding property they own.

Jon Dowding

Aug 30, 2023, 9:41 AM

Updated 264 days ago

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News 12 cameras captured when the owners of the former Dowling College visited the property Wednesday.
A News 12 crew finished an interview with a neighborhood watch member when the caretaker, Don Cook, asked the crew to leave. The crew asked whether the owners, Mercury International, were on the property and Cook told them yes.
This is the first-time community members have seen the owners on the property and it comes only days after Suffolk Police say three more people broke in and damaged property in the historic Vanderbilt Mansion.
“This isn’t a joke anymore. Every weekend I get a call that this was broken into,” said Suffolk County Legislator Anthony Piccirillo. “There’s graffiti, there’s damage, broken stained glass windows, historic artifacts being stolen. We can’t allow for this to continue to go on.”
News of the visit prompted Piccirillo to rush down to the property for one main reason.
"This is the letter of intent to see if we could get in the property to appraise it for hopefully a future sale to add to the county's stock of Open Space and historic preservation,” he said. “There was some talk that they didn't receive this letter.”
Suffolk County says it expressed interest in purchasing the property back from Mercury International but had not heard back from the property owners after several attempts.

Letter sent by Suffolk County

The group left before Legislator Piccirillo could deliver it to them, but he says he's making sure they get a copy.
"We feel that the quality of life in this community has seriously been degraded by the lack of effort put in by ownership and Mr. Cook to maintain security of this property, put proper lights up, fix a building that's falling down,” said Piccirillo.
The neighborhood watch, who check the property every day, say the owners need to step up.
"We would like to get a little bit more cooperation from the town, from the county, from whoever,” said Al Kulfan. “We got to hold Mercury accountable."
Piccirillo shared his message to the property owners.
"Do your job,” said Piccirillo. "The job is to protect the property that you own because the community shares this property with you in the sense that they live around this mansion."
The caretaker had no comment as to why the owners of the former college property were there.


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