6 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • MARCH 2021
IN THE NEWS
WEB BRIEFS LI AT A GLANCE
ADVOCATES PITCH 'PEOPLE'S PLAN'
NASSAU PD REFORM
A group of civil rights advocates presented their plans
for “reimagining policing and public safety on Long
Island” to the Nassau County Legislature on Feb. 24,
36 days before the county must submit its final police
reform plan to New York State.
Members of three advocacy coalitions — Long Island
Advocates for Police Accountability (LIAFPA), Long
Island United to Transform Policing & Community
Safety (LI United), and United for Justice in Policing
Long Island (UJPLI) — authored the 310-page document
called “The People’s Plan” based on input from experts
and the community, they said. More than 30
Long Island organizations and 200
individuals have endorsed the
that we were
not afraid to
‘The People’s Plan,’” said Fred Brewington, a Hempstead
based civil rights attorney and member of LIAFPA.
“The document that was provided by the county
executive, which was not based on collaboration … is
not one which addresses that issue forthrightly.”
“The People’s Plan” first offers the organizations’
response to Nassau’s police reform plan, which
Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder presented
to the legislature in January. Nassau’s plan
includes use of body cameras, more police officer
training, a mentorship program to increase
diversity in the ranks, collection of data, and an
emphasis on transparency.
“The People’s Plan” includes 12 sections that address
policies in different areas of policing, including crisis
response, traffic enforcement, transparency and accountability
issues, and handling complaints. It also
covers handling of hate crimes, treatment of transgender,
intersex, and nonbinary people, and language
access, as well as officer wellness and education.
SHINNECOCK NATION RENEWS
HAMPTONS CASINO BID
The Shinnecock Indian Nation is rolling the dice on
renewed plans to build a casino, announcing on Feb.
18 that it plans to start building a gaming facility this
summer on its Southampton reservation.
The Shinnecock tribe, which previously cleared 5
acres of land to build a casino on tribal land in 2003
and then tried reviving that stalled effort a decade ago
after winning federal recognition, is betting it will
have better luck now.
“We feel that we have all our ducks in a row this time,”
Shinnecock Chairman Bryan Polite told reporters on
Feb. 17 during a news conference on the plans.
If successful, the casino would be the second gaming
facility in Suffolk County, where Jake’s 58 Hotel &
Casino opened in Islandia in 2017. Dubbed Shinnecock
Hamp t on s ,
the Shinecock casino
would be what’s known as
a class II gaming facility — as approved
last summer by the National Indian Gaming
Commission — meaning that like Jake’s 58, there would
only be slot machines and electronically controlled
table games, but no dealers.
EX-HUNTINGTON OFFICIAL CHARGED
WITH FALSE CLAIMS
A former Town of Huntington employee and Village
of Huntington Bay trustee has been accused of falsifying
his work experience on a Suffolk County job
application, prosecutors said.
A grand jury indicted Dominic Spada on a felony
count of offering a false instrument for filing and
misdemeanor charges of making a punishable false
written statement, falsifying business records, and
conspiracy. The 58-year-old Huntington man pleaded
not guilty on Feb. 10 when he was arraigned at Suffolk
County court. Judge Richard Horowitz released him
When Spada was serving as deputy director of
Maritime Services for Huntington town, he filed
an application in 2018 with Suffolk’s Department of
Civil Service to take an exam for the position of bay
constable in 2018.
The position requires applicants to have a minimum
of two years’ maritime experience in order to qualify,
but Spada allegedly falsely claimed on his application
to have worked for a Huntington-based maritime towing
company for five years, prosecutors said. He also
allegedly conspired with the owner of the company
to corroborate the claim, according to investigators.
It’s unclear if the second person will also face charges.
Huntington Bay Village declined to comment on the
arrest of its trustee, who previously served as the
village’s police commissioner and deputy mayor.
Spada is also a harbormaster in the Town of Islip and
the first assistant chief of the
Halesite Fire Department.
Neither Islip nor Halesite
u e s t s
f o r
Spada’s attorney was
not immediately available
for comment. Spada is due back in
court March 16. He faces up to four years
in prison, if convicted.
BNB-DIME MERGER COMPLETED
The $489 million merger between Bridgehampton
headquartered BNB Bank and Brooklyn-founded
Dime Community Bank has closed, with the combined
65 branches from Montauk to Manhattan now rebranded
as Dime locations, the company announced
on Feb. 1.
Known as a merger of equals (MOE for short) as the
two banks are about the same size, the newly merged
bank has combined assets worth $12.5 billion and $9
billion in total deposits. Headquartered in Hauppauge,
it’s positioned as the largest independent bank on
Long Island, but the bank’s leaders maintain that
personal relationships with customers are central to
“It’s really not about the name on the door, it’s the
people inside,” said Kevin O’Connor, who was chief
executive officer of BNB and is now CEO of the merged
Both banks have been serving the community for
more than a century. Dime was founded 156 years ago,
while BNB was founded in 1910.
Customers will not experience any immediate changes
to their accounts, loan payment terms, access to
account information, use of debit cards, or access to
ATMs. The company expects to combine its banking
technology platforms early in the second quarter of
2021 without any disruption to customers.
“Our commitment is really to make this a very smooth
transition for our customers,” said Stuart Lubow, president
and chief operating officer of Dime.