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.

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.

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.

Elise Finch

Comments (7)
  1. Scott Stewart says:

    Failure to follow instruction seems like a really lame excuse to subject a resident who is doing a good deed to fines or legal action. Seems like this mayor never learned how to play well with others and certainly did not display any ability to resolve this matter amicably. No class. The amount of ill will and disgust that these actions has engendered was clearly not anticipated and seem an example of really poor leadership and judgement. Acting like a big fish in a small pond, too much me and not enough we. This guy should get the good citizenship award!

  2. jennifer brunner says:

    what exactly was the “proper procedure” for disposal of 7 hours of picked up trash, and why was he ticketed for leaving said large articles on someones private property when he had optained permission from the landowner??? i feel bad for the fellow, he worked hard to clean his community and got a real nice thank you. my friends tell me that my initial outrage upon reading this is premature, as i really don’t know what happened, but to take this story as printed irritates me to no end.

  3. MJ says:

    once again common sense is MIA

    1. bullett says:

      I believe we are all in agreement here. Thanks guys/gals, hopefully local government will get off their brains a start to think like humans instead of a lame brain.

  4. Wilfred BechardJr says:

    I think this village are a total bunch of idiots andshould be thrown out of office because they were only looking for money for the village or what ever you call it. This man should be all means sue the police and those responsible for this out right stupid nfine and charges, cause that is just what it is. Wonder why people dont trust government any more.

  5. TJ says:

    This is what happens everyday on Long Island. We have politicians and public servants (police, court employees, judges etc.) paid by the very taxpayers they kick in the face. I cant wait for a revolution. We have too many people on the payroll. A very fat organization of incapable, overpaid abusive nitwits. Hopefully in this lifetime all of the corrupt and dirty public servants will go away and we can restore Long Island to what it once was.

  6. Darlene Mapes says:

    Unbelievable, you finally get someone that wants to clean up the area, and you penalize him. You people must have nothing better to do. What are you thinking?
    You should feel blessed to have this man in your community!

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