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Closing Arguments Heard in 150 Christian Ave Court Battle

150 Christian Ave

Photo Credit: Google Maps

April 3, 2014

Patchogue, NY – Closing arguments were heard this afternoon in the case of Town of Brookhaven v. North Shore Designs. To area residents, this is just the latest chapter in an ongoing battle against the infamous frat house located at 150 Christian Ave and its owner, Steven Paul Graziano.

Facing forty four Town code violations, Graziano, owner and President of North Shore Designs, appeared jovial and relaxed as he stood outside Suffolk Country 6th District Court with his attorney and former Brookhaven Town Attorney Raymond Negron along with a small handful of members of The Coalition of Landlords and Tenants of Stony Brook.

Also waiting outside, and overshadowing the paltry showing by the Landlords group, were over seventy five members of Stony Brook Concerned Homeowners who were present to show their support for Brookhaven Town Deputy Attorney David J. Moran and other members of the Town Law Department.

Claiming that his time had been abruptly cut short on Monday,  and over the protests of Moran, Negron successfully petitioned the judge for additional time to complete his closing arguments. Adding little to previous statements, Negron rehashed the same theme that was followed in Monday’s hearing in stating that Graziano had no culpability in the forty four violations and, therefore, could not reasonably be held liable.

Once given the chance, Moran quickly, methodically and forcefully made his closing argument. Meanwhile, Graziano’s demeanor quickly changed from jovial to pensive and concerned. As if the words themselves were inflicting body blows, at several points during Moran’s relentless and unyielding point by point attack of Negron’s defense, Graziano could be seen resting his face in his hands.

Essentially, Moran argued for a common sense application of law and statutes in arguing that it was Graziano’s job, as the owner of the home, through North Shore Designs, to be familiar and in compliance with all applicable town codes. Simply put, it is the responsibility of a business owner to know the laws that governs his business.  Moran then proceeded to summarize the contradictions in Graziano’s testimony which would allow one to reasonably conclude that Graziano did indeed know that he was in violation of town law but chose to knowingly, flagrantly and arrogantly disregard these laws while risking the safety of his tenants. Pointing out that a death did indeed occur at 150 Christian Ave, though to drug overdose and not safety violations, Moran convincingly made the argument that it would be unreasonable and chaos inducing to issue anything but guilty verdicts for all forty-four offenses. Once he concluded his arguments, the courtroom erupted in a thunderous applause for several moments.

As widely expected, the judge announced that he would need time to review the arguments before issuing ruling and asked the attorneys when they could meet again. Moran deferred to the judge. Negron, in turn, asked that they meet again on October 18th. Frustrated, the audience responded with audible grumbling, prompting a stern reprimand from the  bailiff.  Negron then explained that he was a member of the Armed Forces (Army Reserve) and must report for active duty on Friday, April 11 for deployment to Ukraine.

Both attorneys then approached the bench and spoke privately with the judge. It was later announced that the decision will be rendered on April 24th at 2 PM. Any guilty verdicts are expected to be immediately appealed.

Dwight D. Eisenhower once stated, “Peace and justice are two sides of the same coin.” In this case, Stony Brook Concerned Homeowners is hoping for both.

Note: While Stony Brook Concerned Homeowners certainly does not agree with Mr. Negron’s defense of Graziano, we would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his service to our country. May he return home safely from his deployment. Godspeed.

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