A Huntington company that ran into opposition from Riverhead Town officials after it brought wood chips from Nassau County to Sound Avenue in the wake of superstorm Sandy is at the center of a state Attorney General investigation into campaign contributions from Sandy cleanup contractors, according to an article in Newsday.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman subpoenaed campaign information from Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and the Nassau GOP regarding campaign contributions from contractors who got work in the wake of the storm, including Looks Great Service, which has more than $70 million in storm cleanup contracts with Nassau County, the report states.
Looks Great Services is headed by Kristian Agoglia of Huntington. Mr. Agoglia’s family also owns farmland on Sound Avenue in Riverhead under the name Justin Purchasing Corp, and equipment from Looks Great Services has been stored there.
Mr. Agoglia, whose address is in Dix Hills, contributed $1,500 to the Friends of Ed Mangano in January, according to state Board of Elections records.
The Associated Press reported that 23 Sandy contractors, including Looks Great Services, contributed more than $144,000 to Mangano’s campaign in the 11 weeks after the storm, the report states. Mr. Mangano has claimed that all of the contributions have been reported to the Board of Elections, as required.
The Suffolk County district attorney’s office raided Looks Great Services’ Huntington office Tuesday, removing company records and computer hard drives, according to Newsday.
Locally, Riverhead Town officials issued a stop-work order to Justin Purchasing Corp on Dec. 16, 2012 after it had brought more than 32,000 cubic yards of wood chips from a Nassau County facility in Eisenhower Park that processed Sandy debris. The material was brought to Justin Purchasing’s 41-acre farm on the north side of Sound Avenue property in Riverhead.
Justin Purchasing said it sought to further shred the wood chips and allow them to decompose over a six to 18 month period in order to become mulch and supplement the soil on the farm. It later filed an application seeking permission to bring in more than 125,000 cubic yards of material from Nassau for this purpose.
The town claimed the company needed town permits to bring the material on-site. Justin Purchasing’s lawyer, Mary Hartill, said they assumed a permit was unnecessary because agriculture is exempt from that requirement.
But town officials questioned whether the material was being imported for agricultural purposes.
In the end, the town and Justin Purchasing reached an agreement in April to allow the company to continue processing the 32,000 cubic yards of wood chips it had already brought to the premises. But the company could not import any more.