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Ethics Board rules in favor of Giglio; CAT vote can now proceed

Riverhead Town’s Ethics Board has ruled that Councilwoman Jodi Giglio does not have to recuse herself from voting on the “qualified and eligible sponsor” status of Calverton Aviation & Technology, which is seeking to buy 1,640 acres of land from the town from $40 million.

The Town Board had agreed to delay voting on that Q&E status until the ethics board makes a decision.

Ms. Giglio said Monday that the ethics board has now made that decision.

“This board finds no violation of the Code of Ethics from the Town of Riverhead, and therefore, no basis for requiring Councilwoman Giglio to recuse herself from any action taken by the [Town Board] in connection with the qualified and eligible process,” the decision states, according to Ms. Giglio.

It recommended no action against her in connection with the ethics complaint.

The Q&E designation is meant to show that a prospective buyer of town land has the finances and ability to carry forth whatever plan is proposed.

Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said she has received the decision but has not read the entire ruling, which, she said, is confidential.

“I’m glad they made a ruling, but I’m disappointed that it took so long,” she said.

From here, she said, the board will contact its attorneys and schedule a vote on the Q&E designation.

The ethics complaint was first filed in April by the group Coalition Against EPCAL Housing, which questioned the councilwoman’s decision to meet privately with principals from CAT in New York City on March 12.

“It is our contention that Ms. Giglio’s behavior tainted the qualified and eligible public hearing process,” the complaint read.

“Additionally, her private meeting with CAT LLC representatives fails utterly to allow for fairness and impartiality in the execution of her responsibilities as an elected Town of Riverhead official.”

The complaint stated that the group feels “her actions, regardless of intentions, have irrevocably harmed Ms. Giglio’s ability to make a determination on the matter of qualified and eligible,” and it asked that she recuse herself from voting.

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