Realtor says town spent $140K on outside counsel to sue him

Realtor Larry Oxman, speaking during the public comment portion of Tuesday night’s Riverhead Town Board meeting, said the town has spent $140,000 on outside legal counsel in its litigation against him and Riverhead Park Corp.

The town took Mr. Oxman and Riverhead Park Corp,, headed by Stanley Blumenstein of East Hampton, to court in 2004, claiming they illegally cleared 13 acres adjacent to Riverhead Raceway on Route 58.

The case, brought by the town in state Supreme Court, is still active and Judge Joseph Farneti issued a ruling last Thursday in favor of Mr. Oxman, denying the town’s motion to reargue an earlier dismissal of the town’s case, Mr. Oxman said. He also filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the town, which he says is now close to going to trial.

Mr. Oxman said he and Riverhead Park Corp. lost the property to foreclosure as a result of the town’s lawsuit and then went into bankruptcy.

“I lost a $12 million piece of property because of the town,” he said afterward.

Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said he would be willing to settle the case, but said the trustee in the bankruptcy case was responsible for some of the legal fees.

Mr. Oxman said he’d be willing to listen to a settlement offer, but for now, is pursuing the litigation.

Mr. Oxman had been trying to get information on how much the town spent on his case for several months.

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