Village Of Asharoken Says Andrew Mendelsohn Didn't Follow Proper ProcedureBy Elise Finch

ASHAROKEN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — No good deeds go unpunished.

That’s what one Suffolk County man said is happening to him after he volunteered to clean up his community, but ended up facing hefty fines.

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Andrew Mendelsohn drives by a picturesque beach every day. The self-described environmentalist is determined to preserve a nearby wetland. So on Oct. 1 he volunteered seven hours as part of the village of Asharoken’s coastal clean up.

“This is an important, ecologically sensitive area. And a lot of stuff had accumulated here and it needed to be cleaned,” Mendelsohn said.

Mendelsohn said he got permission from one of the organizers to leave any large heavy debris in a sandy parking area that’s part of his property. But less than 24 hours after doing so, police showed up at his home with two summons for violating village code.

“The mayor of Asharoken directed that Mr. Mendelsohn be summonsed for violating village code,” said attorney Edward Yule.

“I was just looking to volunteer to do something good for the community, good for the environment, and this is the result,” Mendelsohn added.

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Mendelsohn’s attorney has filed paperwork to preserve his client’s right to sue. Both men told Finch they want an apology — not a legal battle.

“We want to them to recognize their mistake and drop the charges,” Yule said.

If not, Mendelsohn will be back in court next week.

The village attorney called CBS 2 early Wednesday evening and insisted Mendelsohn did not follow proper instructions, which is why he was fined. But he said they are willing to negotiate the penalty, which could be several hundred dollars.

Do you think the village is over-reacting? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Elise Finch