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Sep 15, 2009 7:51 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Hults case in East Hampton adjourned until after election

Sep 15, 2009 7:51 PM

Former East Hampton Town budget officer Ted Hults will have nearly two more months to build a case against seven felony charges of government corruption and securities fraud brought against him in June by Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota.

His court date on Thursday, September 10, before East Hampton Town Justice Lisa Rana was adjourned to November 5, two days after Election Day.

Mr. Hults was waiting in the courtroom for his appearance when reporters entered the East Hampton Town Justice Court Thursday morning. He was wearing a suit and initially sat alone, but was greeted with hugs, pats on the back and handshakes by many town employees, community members and attorneys in the courtroom and again outside afterward. His attorney, Silvia Serpe, appeared with him to ask for the adjournment, though neither spoke to reporters.

Mr. Hults is charged with one count of defrauding the government for transferring $8 million from the town’s Community Preservation Fund to the general fund beginning in December 2006. He also faces six felony counts for securities fraud, filing false instruments and falsifying business records related to inaccurate statements about the town’s financial position on two bond prospectuses issued in 2007.

When Mr. Hults was first arrested in June, he signed two confessions that implicated Town Supervisor Bill McGintee for initially suggesting that the Community Preservation Fund money could be moved. The confessions also said that Mr. McGintee was aware of the false information in the bond documents. Though Mr. Spota said at the time that he believed charges would soon be filed against the supervisor, Mr. McGintee has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

At his initial June 11 arraignment, Mr. Hults pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts of official misconduct, was allowed to not enter a plea on the felony charges and was released on his own recognizance. At the time he was represented by a legal aid attorney.

The new court date is two days after Election Day, which may be significant in a case that could have political implications. Mr. McGintee is not seeking reelection, but the attention legal action could draw during an election season has led some to believe that the D.A.’s common practice of avoiding indictments of political figures between Labor Day and Election Day may end up prolonging this case.

“I feel terrible for him,” said Town Democratic Party Chairman Bill Taylor of Mr. Hults on Thursday afternoon. “This whole thing is a bad thing for everyone. I really guess the district attorney should have done everything at once or done nothing.”

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So Bill Taylor feels terrible about Hults. I agree with him there. Too bad, however, that the incompetent party chair didn't feel worse about the town's residents, two years ago and four years ago when he and his minions again endorsed willie mcgintee. Plenty of time had elapsed for him to learn mcgintee's lack of ethics.
That lack of ethics had been exposed in letters to The Star since May 2005.
By demi (10), East Hampton on Sep 16, 09 7:49 PM
how can anyone in town hall not look at themselves and not see poor Ted as their scape goat? He was following his boss's orders like all employees should do as they are told.
There are people yes, who work there and do their jobs, and do them well, but believe me, there are plenty just there for the benefits and do not do a day's work anf should be laid off.
Why do you think they the workers are against GPS's they don't want the town to know about their two hour lunches or going home early.
and ...more
By roundswamp (4), amagansett on Sep 24, 09 3:26 PM