Business tied to dumping scandal faces new charges
Hundreds of new charges have been brought against a family already embroiled in the toxic dumping scandal in the Town of Islip.
Three members of the Datre family and one of their companies are facing a 492-count indictment in connection with work done after Superstorm Sandy.
Clara Datre, her daughter Gia Gatien and her son Thomas Jr. walked into a Central Islip courtroom in handcuffs Tuesday. Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota says the charges against them relate to overbilling the Town of Islip for tree removal work done after Superstorm Sandy and underpaying employees for work done under a separate contract.
According to the district attorney's office, Clara Datre, her son and daughter billed the town, claiming they had paid 20 workers $208,000 for 17 days of tree removal work after Sandy. A grand jury found that the company's own payroll records show they really paid those workers $85,000.
Those same three family members are also accused of underpaying employees for tree removal work done in the Town of Islip that had nothing to do with Sandy. According to the indictment, the family members failed to pay 13 employees the state-mandated wage for tree trimming work and falsely filed paperwork with the town, claiming they were paying the proper wages.
The Town of Islip issued a statement Tuesday saying it has fully cooperated with the DA's office and canceled its tree contract with the company in May.
All three Datre family members pleaded not guilty. Their defense attorney Kevin Kearon called the investigation into the charges against the Datres "incompetent and partisan from the start."
The case is due back in court in January.