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