10 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • APRIL 2021
IN THE NEWS
WEB BRIEFS LI AT A GLANCE
EX-SCPD SGT. GETS NO JAIL FOR THEFT
A former Suffolk County police sergeant who was
facing up to seven years in prison was spared jail time
after admitting to falsifying time sheets in order to
steal more than $7,000 over a two-year period.
Judge Richard Dunne sentenced Robert Kall on
March 10 to conditional discharge after Kall had
pleaded guilty on Nov. 6, 2018 to official misconduct,
a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.
The 50-year-old Shoreham man resigned from the department
as a condition of the plea deal. In exchange,
prosecutors dropped felony counts of grand larceny,
corrupting the government, and falsifying business
records, punishable by up to seven years in prison.
“Robert Kall’s alleged actions constitute
a serious violation of the trust
instilled in him by the Suffolk
County Police Department
public he was
At t o rne y
had said upon
Kall’s arrest in 2019.
Kall admitted falsifying police records to indicate
that he had worked full shifts when he had not on 12
separate dates between Feb. 3, 2016 and July 17, 2018
resulting in him receiving an additional 12 paid days
off from work, valued at $7,429.24, to which he was
JONES BEACH AIR SHOW TO FLY AGAIN
The Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach State Park will
go on this May after being canceled last year due to
the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced
The air show will feature the United States Air
Force Thunderbirds, the United States Air Force
A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog), United States Army
Golden Knights U.S. Army parachute team, and United
States Coast Guard Search and Rescue team, as well as
several civilian performers.
“We’ll have masks, we’ll have social distancing, but
we’re going to do that again,” Cuomo said.
The air show’s practice date is Friday, May 28. The
show will run from May 29 to 30, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each
CUT LIRR TRAINS ROLL AGAIN AFTER
The Long Island Rail Road reversed its controversial
service cuts following backlash from riders and officials
who said the fewer number of trains resulted in
crowding that risked the spread of Covid-19.
“We heard our customers’ concerns about our new
schedule loud and clear,” LIRR President Phil Eng
said in a statement. “As a result, we will restore our
Officials had been calling on the Metropolitan
Transportation Authority to restore regular
service on the
schedule cuts led
to crowding of trains on
March 8. Service was restored
The MTA scaled back train times in hopes of saving
about $15 million amid a 75 percent decline in ridership,
according to MTA data. However, when train
cars became packed, it raised worry among riders
about being able to practice social distancing.
-Drashti Mheta and BB
ADVOCATES ACCUSE ISLIP OF
Advocates are calling on the Town of Islip to be more
equitable in how town leaders follow a federal court
order to carve up the municipality into council districts
to resolve a voting discrimination lawsuit.
The Islip Town National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People (NAACP) branch unveiled a
proposed town council district map at a Feb. 17 press
conference in an attempt to reduce racial disparities
on the all-white town board, which is solidly Republican.
Islip officials drew new district lines shortly after
the town settled a lawsuit in October 2020 filed by
minority residents and agreed to replace the at-large
voting system. But advocates say the lines the town
came up with split existing communities instead of
keeping them in districts with their neighbors.
“Central Islip finds itself chopped up into pretty much
every district on the map, other than District 3,” said
Vincent Vertuccio, co-chair of Mobilize Suffolk Blue.
“If you live in Sayville or Bayport, Central Islip is not
only geographically distant, but there is almost no
cultural or ethnic similarity in those communities.
What this map does is it dilutes the voting power of
Central Islip, and that has a lot of consequences. It
affects the power of underrepresented, marginalized
communities to elect their representatives.”
Multiple panelists at the conference suggested that
the current district map had been gerrymandered
boundaries to maintain
during future elections
by dividing the minority population,
which is more Democratic,
across multiple districts. The town declined
to comment on the advocates’ proposal.
LI DOC KILLED FIVE WITH PILLS, DA SAYS
A Rockville Centre-based doctor who ignored repeated
warnings not to prescribe excessive amounts of
painkillers to his drug-dependent patients has been
charged with murder after five of those patients died
Dr. George Blatti was charged with five counts of
depraved indifference murder and 11 counts of reckless
endangerment. Authorities said it’s the first time
a doctor has been charged in New York State with
murder for depraved indifference.
“Basically he’s a serial killer, in our opinion,” Nassau
County District Attorney Madeline Singas told reporters
March 4 during a news conference outside her
office in Mineola. Calling it the worst case of reckless
endangerment she’s seen in 30 years as a prosecutor,
she added: “His prescription pad was as lethal as any
Singas said the 75-year-old doctor ignored repeated
warnings from insurance companies, pharmacies,
an oversight agency, victims’ families, and at least
three patients themselves that he was overprescribing
addictive painkillers. In one case, he allegedly
prescribed nine times the recommended dosage of
painkillers. And in other instances, he wrote prescriptions
for patients in his car without performing an
exam, according to investigators.
For more local news visit longislandpress.com