NORTH SHORE, LI – Assemblymember Charles Lavine (D-North Shore, LI) issued the following statement in response to the Town of Oyster Bay’s plan to create a Bureau of Adjudication:
“Any willful, intentional and deliberate misrepresentation and manipulation of a material fact, such as its population figure, by the Town of Oyster Bay will be viewed as a matter of most serious legal concern given the Town’s shameful history of political misconduct.State legislation is mandated to establish administrative adjudication hearing bureaus.As Chair of the New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee and as a longstanding member of its Codes Committee, I have grave concerns over the Town’s proposed legislation which seeks to establish an elaborate Code and Ordinance violation system requiring the hiring of a director, at least 3 judges and supporting staff with wide subpoena power that does not provide for basic due process rights for those charged with violations.
As recently as April of 2021, the Town had sought State permission to establish just such a system for all code and ordinance violations because the Town’s population was less than 300,000.According to the official website of the United States Census Bureau, the Town’s population is less than 300,000.
A fundamental tenet of American political science requires a governmental framework of checks and balances.I opposed the Town requested state law authorizing establishment of an adjudication bureau because of constitutional fears that the basic due process rights of our people would be denied and out of concern that the Town would continue to increase its political patronage machine, thereby increasing taxes in the form of not just property taxes, but fines and surcharges to those being charged by the bureau.
My concerns remain and should the Town take it upon itself to establish such a system I will urge the Secretary of State to reject certification of any such local law.”