East Hampton election official charged with vandalism – Middletown Press | CarTailz

EAST HAMPTON — Lori Wilcox is seeking re-election as the city’s Republican voter registration next week after she faces charges for allegedly destroying a woman’s car with spray paint, according to a police incident report.

Wilcox, 65, was charged August 28 with first-degree criminal mischief. Wilcox was released on non-bail bonds the same day and has not yet contested the charges. She is scheduled to appear in State Superior Court in Middletown on November 30.

Wilcox’s attorney, John D. Maxwell of Brown Paindiris & Scott, declined to comment on the case. Wilcox has not returned calls for comment.

In next week’s election, Wilcox is up against incumbent Democratic Registrar Terry Latimer and Green Party candidate Brian Gay, according to the city’s sample ballot from the Secretary of State’s office. State law stipulates that each municipality should have two voter registers from two different parties.

East Hampton Town manager David E. Cox said Wilcox remains the Republican registrar. Aside from the police department’s investigation, “there is no ongoing investigation into the incident or Ms. Wilcox, nor has she received any disciplinary action from the city,” Cox said in an email.

After receiving a tip about the arrest, the Hearst Connecticut Media Group received an incident report from the East Hampton Police Department showing that officers responded to the reported vandalism at a local home around 10:20 p.m. on August 27. A New Yorker said she attended a birthday party for a 90-year-old family member that night and discovered her car had been vandalized with spray paint as she left the gathering, according to the incident report.

The copper-brown paint streaked the passenger side, rear, and driver’s side of the white vehicle, according to the incident report and photos obtained by police from Hearst Connecticut Media. The vehicle’s owner said her driver’s side window, mirror, cameras and license plate were “completely covered,” making the car dangerous to drive.

The vehicle was parked on the street corner near the Wilcox driveway, the police report said.

In an interview with Hearst Connecticut Media, the vehicle owner said she couldn’t find a spot near the party without blocking other cars, so she parked on the street near Wilcox’s home. The woman, a New York resident who asked not to be identified, said the car did not block Wilcox’s driveway and was parked legally.

Police said they found a neighbor with surveillance cameras trained on the area where the car was parked. According to the incident report, police also collected a blond hair stuck to the fresh brown spray paint as evidence. Police noted in the report that Wilcox has blonde hair.

In an interview with police, Wilcox “appeared surprised” when the officer mentioned the wrecked car, the report said. Wilcox told police she knew nothing about the incident and had not left her home for two days, the report said.

In the video footage, officers saw Wilcox walk from the back of her home to the vehicle around 9:55 p.m. that evening, the report said. Wilcox stopped behind the car for a brief moment, walked back into her home and walked towards the car two minutes later, according to the incident report.

“Wilcox was then seen on video on the passenger side, the rear of the vehicle and the driver’s side of the vehicle,” police wrote in the report.

Police said they returned to Wilcox’s home and banged on her doors and windows for about five minutes before she came outside. Officers asked Wilcox if anyone else was in the home, and she said it was just her and her cats, the report said.

Wilcox was arrested and continued to deny involvement in the vandalism, police said.

“I didn’t do anything,” she said, according to the report.

The New Yorker said she and a family member tried to remove the paint from the windows and mirrors so she could get home safely. The woman claimed police stopped her several times on her way home because spray paint on the license plate was a common tactic used by car thieves. The woman said she must explain and prove that her car was vandalized.

The New Yorker said the vandalism was unprovoked and cost $14,000 and a month to repair.

“I’ve never met her, I don’t know her,” said the New Yorker. “There was no reason.”

East Hampton Police Chief Dennis Woessner said this was the first time his officers had responded to a reported incident at Wilcox’s home.

Deborah Cunningham, chair of the East Hampton Republican Town Committee, could not be reached for comment.

The Secretary of State’s office declined to comment on Wilcox’s arrest.

Because the electoral roll is an elected office, the Office of the Secretary of State may suspend or remove an officer from office by referral to the State Elections Enforcement Commission. However, the agency can only make these referrals if the officer has committed misconduct or incompetence in his or her official role under state law.

The law states that the Secretary of State may temporarily relieve an officer of his duties if he “is the subject of an investigation into a matter relating to the duties of such registry office arising from a declaration filed by the Secretary of State with the State Election Enforcement Commission.” of the state.”

The Secretary of State may initiate the recall of an electoral register only if it has committed “misconduct, willful and material dereliction of duty, or incompetence in maintaining such a registry office,” under state law. The Secretary of State would then have to file a statement with the SEEC, which would investigate the matter and determine whether it required further investigation by the Attorney General.

Liz Hardaway can be reached at liz.hardaway@hearst.com

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