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Jun 27, 2016 3:32 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Trustee Files Workplace Complaint Against Another Trustee After Back Slaps

Southampton Town Trustee Bill Pell.  DANA SHAW
Jun 28, 2016 1:57 PM

Southampton Town Trustee Scott Horowitz has filed a complaint against Trustee Bill Pell for slapping him on the back during a work session last week—a gesture he found neither friendly nor gentle.

The incident occurred on June 15, when the Trustees were in a heated argument about what some said was a lack of communication over a decaying whale in Moriches Bay, near Eastport, that the bay constables and two Trustees helped tow in and dispose of.

After taking a verbal beating from his colleagues for not first reaching out to Trustees Bill Pell or Eric Shultz before taking action, Mr. Horowitz argued back.

“There’s no glamour. There’s no glory. There’s no extra money. There’s no prize. There’s no benefit,” Mr. Horowitz said. “It was two guys springing to action to help people asking for help,” he said of himself and fellow Trustee Bruce Stafford. “You know what you should say? ‘Guys, thank you. Thank you for helping out.’”

Mr. Pell then got up out of his seat, walked past Trustee President Ed Warner Jr. and, according to Mr. Horowitz, slapped him on the back four times.

“That’s what you want,” Mr. Pell said.

He went on to say that a text message to the rest of the Trustees saying a dead whale was off the coast, and needed to be brought in, would have been enough.

A week later, Mr. Horowitz—who can be heard crying “ouch!” on an audiotape of the meeting—filed a complaint with the Southampton Town Human Resources Department, terming the back slaps hard enough to qualify as “abuse.”

“Elected officials and people who work in Town Hall should be able to do their job free of intimidation,” Mr. Horowitz said later. “It’s an upsetting situation.”

“The town has a policy against this type of behavior,” he said. “Employees and elected officials should be able to provide services to the public without having to endure this type of abuse.”

Mr. Pell, who said he had not seen Mr. Horowitz’s complaint as of Friday, said he had just been patting him on the back and saying, ‘Good job.’

“I did not slap him hard,” Mr. Pell said. “It was a tap, because he said nobody ever says, ‘Thanks.’”

Mr. Pell did say, however, that Mr. Warner had to duck when he went to tap Mr. Horowitz on the back.

At least one Trustee rejected that characterization.

“It was no freaking tap,” Mr. Stafford said. He added, “Let’s just work together. It isn’t good for the Trustees.”

Following the incident, Mr. Pell said he was still upset that he had not been involved in the Trustees’ discussion to open the Mecox cut, a decision made at a meeting he did not attend, although Mecox Bay is among the water bodies he is specifically responsible for as a Trustee.

Because the altercation was between two elected officials, rather than town employees, it is not known what the consequences of the human resources complaint could be at the town level. Town Attorney James Burke said on Tuesday that he had not reviewed the complaint, but that he does not think a Trustee could lose his elected position over such an incident.

“They really are an independent board,” Mr. Burke said. “The constituents can fire them by not electing them.”

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What a bunch of yahoos. When do you hear them doing something good and not screwing up or hearing about drama instead of substance. I'm serious, for my own knowledge, let's hear the good for once.
By lirider (288), Hampton Bays on Jun 27, 16 3:48 PM
1 member liked this comment
I have the name of a great chiropractor he can do some work on Mr Horowitzs back poor little guy.Mr Pell some anger management counseling might be in order..............all over the remains of a DEAD WHALE.Must contact one of the comedy showes on TV this will make some great comedy...the lazy days of Summer.
By watchdog1 (543), Southampton on Jun 27, 16 4:52 PM
This is comical that Mr Horowitz felt the need to run to Southampton Town HR to complain about Billy Pell. Billy is one of the nicest people in this town.
By escan70 (1), water mill on Jun 27, 16 6:39 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By whatapity (106), Tuckahoe on Jun 27, 16 7:30 PM
AGREED and WELL SAID !!! Bill Pell is a genuinely good person all around!!!

Lighten up Horowitz!!!!
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Jun 27, 16 10:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
Why would WE tow it to the shore??? Tow it out to sea. If they want to play with it, go get it...
TOTALY dysfunctional board... Time to get rid of the of Dopes... Why are you guys there... To do stupid S//t???
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Jun 27, 16 7:14 PM
They should all be slapped, and not necessarily on the back. What a cry baby.
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on Jun 27, 16 7:24 PM
Mr horrorwitz you have got to be kidding.
By Resident tax (186), Hampton bays ny on Jun 27, 16 7:51 PM
the Trustees appear to be engineering their own demise
By bettyboo (38), Southampton on Jun 27, 16 8:00 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jun 27, 16 8:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
Pell and Shultz are correct. You can't make unilateral decisions while on a member of a Town Board. It's also dangerous when people who don't know about the water start making decisions about the water.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Jun 27, 16 8:44 PM
What a depressing sigh of the times. Instead of two guys just settling things outside in the parking lot after the meeting, the offended party runs to the town lawyer crying for protection. Not saying what Mr. Pell did was right but good grief. There has to be a better way to deal with this.
By BillWillConn3 (180), Southampton on Jun 27, 16 9:01 PM
less fuel for the anti-trustee fire would be nice. Let's not make it any easier for anyone to dismantle what the town has had in place for hundreds of years. I understand tension can run high, but let's keep the best interest of the voting public a top priority, gentlemen.
By ArturoBandini (30), on Jun 27, 16 9:31 PM
Apparently there's tension between these two and admittedly don't know the protocol vis-a-vis the whale, but for Horowitz to go to that length either as a wuss or as a vindictive jerk is pathetic. So what if Pell "shamed" you. Can't you talk it out like a grown-up? Generations of camaraderie among the Trustees, now this? We stakeholders need a good working board, so straighten up or quit in the public interest if you can't play well with others.
By June Bug (2680), SOUTHAMPTON on Jun 27, 16 9:38 PM
Maybe he needed slapping. Just sayin......
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Jun 27, 16 10:00 PM
Trustee Pell has reported several of the local baymen to the NYS DEC while he himself shell fishes in uncertified waters and claims to be conducting surveys. His dogs run loose on all our town beaches. He runs a property management company and uses his powers as a Trustee to enhance his business. Mr Pell is as crooked now as he and his family were when they were commercial fishermen.
By Fulltime Baymen (2), Southampton on Jun 27, 16 10:17 PM
3 members liked this comment
So get the guy on video and report him. Post it online and the public will have your back.
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on Jun 27, 16 10:34 PM
those are serious faults in an elected official.
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Jun 28, 16 6:44 AM
I think you meant to say, those are serious, unsubstantiated, unsourced allegations with no reference, no proof and likely opening the poster to personal injury litigation. Because without any proof or back up, he's just a dime-a-dozen poster talking out of his a$$.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Jun 28, 16 6:52 AM
1 member liked this comment
Wow not much to report on this week I guess. Complaining about a slap on the back is sad enough and then for it to get press too. Just what Horowitz wants a little more press time. Give me a break!
By sf (5), Southampton on Jun 27, 16 10:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
Trustee Pell is also in charge of the towns failed pumpout program!! He owns a boat built by Sound Marine of Bohemia and his is trying to now influence the bidding process so that his friend wins the bid ! Wake up People!!
By Fulltime Baymen (2), Southampton on Jun 27, 16 10:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
"Fulltime bayman" signs up now just to bash pell Interesting. Sounds like u one of scotts boys.
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jun 28, 16 7:29 AM
They already have a Sound Marine Pumpout boat.

Southampton FD' water rescue boat was built by Bob as well.
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Jun 28, 16 7:38 AM
By yassar arafar (33), sag harbor on Jul 7, 16 6:27 PM
Based on what I've read in this article and the article about opening The Cut it appears as though this little man Horrowitz has a Napoleon complex and was looking for a pat on the back...that's literally what he got. All I can say is-Mr. Horrowitz, grow up you child; you wanted attention and you got it. How dare you waste our time and money on such none sense?! The "shame" you've suffered from the "attract" should be nothing compared to the self-imposed shame you should feel for being so vindictive ...more
By S'hamptonNative (84), Southampton on Jun 27, 16 10:53 PM
There is no honor in cowardly hacking away at a Town Trustee from the comfort of your living room.
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Jun 28, 16 6:10 AM
HoroWITZ? More like HoroWUZZ. Next meeting, Scotty, bring MOMMY!
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Jun 28, 16 7:21 AM
If you're not getting workplace complaints filed against you, you're not working hard enough.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Jun 28, 16 7:30 AM
Can Bill Pell even spell trustee. I always have a look of complex when that guys talks..
By farmlocal (83), Southampton on Jun 28, 16 9:27 AM
you have "a look of complex" ? And u question his spelling? Get back to us when you finish second grade
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jun 29, 16 8:17 AM
1 member liked this comment
Lol. Bill is the kinda guy that makes this place what it is. Gotta love em.
And don't think for a second he won't take whatever punishment HR gives him with a big old smile because now everyone gets to see how childish and petty Scott can be.
By Brandon Quinn (191), Hampton Bays on Jun 28, 16 6:00 PM
Sounds like totally inappropriate behavior. I would file an assault police complaint. I certainly would not want someone "patting" me on the back four times with such force that I yelled ouch. Frankly, it is entirely inappropriate.

This conduct is way out of line and needs to be stopped. It's not childish and petty to complain about being hit. If Bill was a woman would the reaction be different? What if Bill was an elderly fragile man? This incivility needs to stop.

By JohnSmith (25), Johnson City, Tennessee on Jun 30, 16 6:07 PM
If Bill was a woman or elderly fragile man horowuss would still be crying.
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jul 1, 16 10:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hey, ath had a security guard at her meetings. Bill grow up and start acting like a trustee...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Jul 2, 16 3:08 PM
... why isn't the video of the meeting on the town website?
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Jul 2, 16 5:57 PM
Scott yelled "ow!" Hahahahahahahahahahahaha
By Brandon Quinn (191), Hampton Bays on Jul 4, 16 2:19 PM
The three stooges. And Anna wants to go to washington, why not clean your own house before tackling wash.
By yassar arafar (33), sag harbor on Jul 7, 16 6:25 PM