Newburgh has its First Convictions for Dumping

Newburgh Trash

The City of Newburgh has sent out the following press release announcing the first convictions for illegal dumping.

Three Newburgh residents were convicted in City Court on Tuesday morning of violating the City’s new anti-dumping law, passed in September 2015. Judge Paul Trachte accepted city Assistant Corporation Counsel Timothy Kramer’s suggested $750 fine for each of the three, and gave them one month to pay up. The new ordinance calls for a minimum fine of $500 for the first offense, but the City wanted to send a message.

“We want everyone to know that littering and dumping in Newburgh is now being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said City Council member Genie Abrams, who represents the Ward in which the dumping occurred.

“This case set the precedent,” said Karen Mejia, Councilwoman for Ward 1, who worked for weeks with Police Chief Dan Cameron to find a test case. “We are serious about our new ordinance, and we want the world to know that you cannot toss trash, garbage, tires, electronics, furniture, building materials or anything else onto any public areas of our City. We will continue to prosecute every single case, and with increased video surveillance, we will be catching more and more culprits. It’s crazy now to risk a minimum fine of $500 to dump a mattress on our streets, when by calling the Department of Public Works at 565-3297 you can arrange for them to pick them up for you, for a small fee,” stated Councilwoman Mejia.

The three men did not retain a lawyer. They heard the charges against them, and their punishment in Trachte’s courtroom. They all quickly accepted their $750 fines and the one-month payment deadline. Outside the courtroom, they told Councilwoman Abrams that they had not been working for a landlord when they were seen by an anonymous tipster on Feb. 10, who saw them dumping mattresses at the corner of Renwick and Johnes streets and called the cops.

“We are very grateful to the person who witnessed this dumping and called the police,” Mejia said, “and we urge all Newburghers to be on the alert for dumpers in their neighborhoods or anywhere in the City.”

-Photo by NJP Thompson

7 Comment

  • I have commendations for a property issue that came up for us over this past weekend that involved a team of people who came together to solve a bad problem we had with our water service on Grand Street.

    Our excellent upper floor tenant texted a message about 1030 am that there was a stream of water in the basement that had flooded out our brand new water heater so no hot water… but the worst thing was that there was a lot of running water coming into the basement.No one knew where it was coming from.It was going to be a flood.

    An emergency call to Councilwoman Holmes (whom I knew from watching City Council meetings had had a water main issue at her home in recent history) and then to Mr Harrison and Wayne at the Water Dept got the City right over there so they could immediately determine that the water was coming from the street. They must have been on site in minutes. Our wonderful plumbers at Caestaro met us at the building and worked with the City to determine a course of action to make an emergency excavation and repair starting early on Monday morning because it was determined by the City that the water was coming from the line into the building on our part of the line.

    Even though the building’s water line had been replaced not such a long time ago, it was damaged and needed replacement fast so that tenants in our building could keep getting their heat and water and get the hot water restored as soon as possible.
    From start to finish–even though this was on a Sunday–we had everything completely restored by 6 pm on Tuesday. We continued to have heat and water service most of that time with only the relatively minor inconvenience of no hot water for three days.

    Because of the way this whole thing was expedited by the City of Newburgh–City of Newburgh employees and Caestaro rushing out for a water emergency to help from church, a special family birthday party, their days off—we were saved from having additional damage that could have occurred if things had been delayed with red tape. Spagnoli excavation provided simply flawless work-totally great team. Our tenants were saved from having a worse interruption–one more thing that won’t happen again soon. Kudos for Michael Ciaravino and Karen Mejia as well as the building plumbing enforcement who were on site to make sure all went well and the workers at Verizon and Central Hudson.

    There are very few times in the past several years when I could give a five star rating to the City of Newburgh about anything, but this incident showed that it can be done with the right people.

    NJP Thompson

  • They should fine the landlord who hired them as well. Otherwise low-wage or off-the-books employees are going to get punished for the laziness of property owners.

  • Genie, Karen, Dan, Timothy —

    Bravo, great work!

  • It’s really great and thrilling. Wonderful Wonderful….

    However, how could that take weeks? Makes me laugh.

  • $2250…and no street cams. Just a couple of weeks ago there were those who sat at the big table deriding the resolution to restore the remaining portion of the non-bargaining employee’s pay from the cut imposed in 2011. Well, this fine pays for almost half of it or maybe a DPW’s over time. My concern is that the progressives will now ride this in their push for cameras, putting Newburgh further into debt …”see, if we have cameras think of the…”. The perps were “punished” because they littered…ignorance and laziness aren’t crimes, just excuses.

    • Are we to debate the educational opportunities and work ethic of dumpers? Have a Justice Circle for them?

      As for the money, it is true that affluent places have less opportunities to raise money from the evil stupid and work averse. But why not take advantage of what God has gifted to City of Newburgh? Those fines come in CASH.

      As for cameras, I think the Newburgh Police who are wearing body cameras already have enough footage of me to produce a full length Hollywood film due to their support of the squatter in the building I manage who has changed the locks (again) on my apartment locking me out because the squatter enjoys calling in false reports that I am a burglar. I have not even known whether the squatter is still living there or not because she does not pay utilities, rent, receive mail, or show herself. Yet, the City Police came to force me to give the keys to our building to the squatter.

      Apparently if a person/victim like me goes into the station to make a report, it takes hours—but when a squatter calls them on 911, the squatter gets instant service to document false allegations. THAT is why the City is so understaffed. It is servicing criminals who “dial 911” more than it is protecting property rights of property owners. You have trained criminal squatter rent scammers to know how to manipulate the police and code enforcement! More protection is needed for property owners!

      • I’ll assume your comment was misplaced in the thread. There are no victims here, no matter what side of the rent check you’re on.