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Jan 13, 2016 10:32 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Authorities Drop Felony Charge Against Tuckahoe Superintendent

Dean Lucera
Jan 13, 2016 10:39 AM

The felony charge filed against Tuckahoe Superintendent Dean Lucera, who was arrested in November after court documents say he attacked his “estranged girlfriend” in Westhampton, has been reduced to a misdemeanor.

Tuckahoe School Board of Education Chairman Dr. Daniel Crough confirmed the change in an email this week, adding that Mr. Lucera—who has been on voluntary paid leave of absence from the district since early December—is due back in Southampton Town Justice Court on Tuesday, February 2.

Mr. Crough, however, did not elaborate on what the reduction in charges will mean for Mr. Lucera and his continued employment with Tuckahoe.

Mr. Lucera was arrested by Town Police in November and originally charged with third-degree criminal mischief, a felony, as well as second-degree harassment, a violation, after what authorities described as a “domestic dispute” took place at a house in which a door was damaged. The woman, identified in court documents as an “estranged girlfriend,” had also alleged in a sworn statement to police that Mr. Lucera had grabbed her face and spit on her during an argument, which took place at her home in Westhampton.

The superintendent’s lawyer, Tor Jacob Worsoe Jr. of Holtsville, had stressed that the criminal mischief offense had been exaggerated, explaining that the door was not damaged to a degree that warranted a felony charge. New York State Penal Law states a person can face a felony count of third-degree criminal mischief when the cost to repair damage to another person’s property exceeds $250.

In a previous interview, Mr. Worsoe stated that he thought the felony charge would eventually be dropped because the cost of the repairs had been exaggerated. He did not respond to a request for comment this week.

Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, confirmed that it cost less than $100 to fix the door, prompting the reduction of the felony charge to a misdemeanor.

Tuckahoe School Principal Arlette Sicari has been serving in Mr. Lucera’s place since early last month.

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What a joke.

Cost of the door is the heart of the matter apparently. Let's not worry about the domestic violence, the spitting on a woman or grabbing her by the face and throat.

Makes me sick.
By Brandon Quinn (191), Hampton Bays on Jan 13, 16 2:23 PM