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Mar 4, 2009 5:54 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Driver gets 15 days in prison for fatal hit-and-run

Mar 4, 2009 5:54 PM

A man formerly from Westhampton Beach was sentenced to 15 days in jail on Friday—a sentence that the attorney representing the victim’s family described as “ridiculous”—after pleading guilty to DWI and leaving the scene of a fatal accident in which he struck and killed a woman in Manhattan.

On January 24, 2008, at around 10:42 p.m., George Anderson, the chief executive officer of Enterprise Engineering in Manhattan, ran over and killed Florence Cioffi, 59, of Brooklyn, according to a document provided by the New York County district attorney’s 
office. Mr. Anderson then fled the accident scene before returning several minutes later, according to the document.

On Friday, Mr. Anderson pleaded guilty in a Manhattan courtroom to leaving the scene of an accident and DWI, both misdemeanors, as part of a plea bargain that he had reached last month with the New York County district attorney’s office.

According to the document provided by the DA’s office, Mr. Anderson was originally charged with DWI, a misdemeanor, and leaving the scene of an accident, criminally negligent homicide, and second-degree vehicular manslaughter, all felonies.

The attorney representing Ms. Cioffi’s family described Mr. Anderson’s plea agreement and 15-day jail sentence as “a travesty.”

“It’s a ridiculous sentence for a man who killed somebody and fled the scene,” said Jerry Misk, an attorney from Queens Village.

Mr. Misk said Ms. Cioffi’s family vehemently opposed the plea bargain and stated in court that they did not want prosecutors to accept the agreement.

As part of his plea bargain, Mr. Anderson must also complete 200 hours of community service, pay a $500 fine and participate in a anti-drunk driving program, in addition to serving 15 days in prison, according to a spokesperson for the New York County DA’s office.

Authorities said Ms. Cioffi was crossing Water Street in downtown Manhattan when she was run over by Mr. Anderson. She was then transported to New York Downtown Hospital on William Street, where doctors said she died from her injuries.

The document also states that Mr. Anderson returned to the accident scene about 15 to 20 minutes after hitting Ms. Cioffi. At that point, New York Police Department Officer Leah Curtis, who responded to the scene, observed that Mr. Anderson was intoxicated.

Ms. Cioffi had just left a party celebrating her upcoming 60th birthday when she was hit by Mr. Anderson, according to published reports. The same reports state that Ms. Cioffi was intoxicated and supposed to be married on the day after the fatal accident.

Mr. Misk said Ms. Cioffi’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Mr. Anderson in New York State Supreme Court in Brooklyn. The family is hoping to receive monetary compensation for their loss, Mr. Misk explained.

Mr. Anderson, who now lives in Brookville in Nassau County, sold his Dune Road home in Westhampton Beach in 2007.

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what does this story have to do with Westhampton?
By jim (48), hampton bays on Mar 4, 09 9:00 PM