Riverhead Councilwoman Jodi Giglio says she didn’t know her partner in the Summerwind Square apartments complex was also an owner of Joe’s Garage and Grill — a restaurant located within the building — when she voted in May to award two snack vendor contracts to the restaurant.
Ms. Giglio said that had she known of her business partner’s involvement in the restaurant, she would have abstained on the snack vendor vote.
Ms. Giglio, along with Ray Dickhoff and Martin Sendlewski, is a principal of Eastern Property Investor Consultants, LLC, the company that owns and is building Summerwind Square, a 52-unit apartment complex in the works on Peconic Avenue.
Summerwind will offer apartments on the top three floors and stores and a restaurant on its ground floor.
On May 22, in a competitive bidding process, the Riverhead Town Board awarded Joe’s Garage and Grill two snack vendor concession contracts for town beaches.
The town bid-out snack vendor contracts for 13 locations, and Joe’s Garage was awarded contracts for the Iron Pier Beach and East Creek Marina concession stands, paying the town $1,000 for the East Creek concession and $500 for the Iron Pier concession for the summer months, when the beaches are open.
The Town Board’s vote was unanimous, with Ms. Giglio among those voting in favor of the contracts.
Her opponent in this fall’s Republican Town Council primary, Anthony Coates, who has issued a continual stream of criticism of Ms. Giglio in his campaign, later charged in an interview with the News-Review that Ms. Giglio should have abstained because Joe’s Garage is her tenant in Summerwind.
When asked about the matter earlier this month, Ms. Giglio said she didn’t think she should have had to abstain on the snack vendor vote just because Joe’s Garage is a tenant. The issue was a competitive bid, she explained, and she didn’t stand to gain anything from Joe’s Garage receiving the vendor contract.
But the bid packets on file at the Riverhead town clerk’s office show Mr. Dickhoff to be an owner of Joe’s Garage, along with his wife, Natalie Dickhoff, and Wayne and Paul Steck.
The Stecks are owners of the Wayne Paul Construction Company in Melville, according to the company website.
Ms. Giglio is not listed as an owner of Joe’s Garage and Grill, which is a separate corporation from Eastern Property Investor Consultants, according to the state Department of State division of corporations
When told by a reporter last week of Mr. Dickhoff’s involvement, Ms. Giglio then spoke to Mr. Dickhoff, who told her he is an owner of Joe’s Garage as well, Ms. Giglio said.
“I didn’t even know that when you asked me,” she said, adding that had she known, she would have abstained from voting on the snack vendor contracts.
Ms. Giglio said she had previously believed only the Stecks were involved in the restaurant. (Editor’s note: Ms. Giglio later clarified her statement to mean she had believed only Paul Steck was involved, not Wayne steck who is a Summerwind principal.)
“How could she not have known?” Mr. Coates said of Ms. Giglio’s explanation. “It was in the bid packet. Was she not telling the truth when she said she didn’t know? Or did she vote on this without reading the bid packet?
“This is wrong in that she voted for a tenant of hers, it’s wrong that she voted for a business partner and it’s wrong that she didn’t read the bid packet.”
Read more in the Aug. 2 New-Review newspaper.