Confession in Graffiti Case

    An April 30 incident in which an East Hampton Town engineer’s name and departmental phone number were spray-painted on the outside wall of the public bathrooms at the intersection of South Emerson Avenue and South Edison Street in Montauk has come to a close. A town employee, William Link of Kopka Court, East Hampton, revealed to police that he was responsible.
    Town police arrested Mr. Link on May 6 and charged him with third-degree criminal mischief. He was charged with the felony because of the amount of the damages — more than $250. He was additionally charged with making graffiti, a misdemeanor, and possession of marijuana, a violation. The marijuana was allegedly discovered in his Parks and Recreation Department vehicle when he was arrested.
    The graffiti was considered serious enough to warrant an executive-session discussion of it by the town board. There was some concern for the safety of the town engineer, Tom Talmage.
    Regarding potential disciplinary action by the town, Supervisor Bill Wilkinson said in an e-mail message Tuesday that he does not comment on “personnel transactions or pending appropriate discipline.”
    Mr. Talmage consulted on the construction of the bathrooms, made from modular buildings. After they had been put in place, an error was discovered: A section of a waste-line pipe that should have been cast iron had instead been installed as PVC pipe, Mr. Wilkinson confirmed this week.
    Although at first it was feared that in order to correct the mistake the buildings would have to be lifted, a switch of the pipes was easily made, Councilwoman Julia Prince, who has overseen the project, said Tuesday. The project remains well within budget and on schedule, she said, with the facilities expected to be open by Memorial Day.
    East Hampton has been under pressure from the Suffolk County Health Department to provide restroom facilities for users of the nearby section of ocean beach, Edison Beach. According to the Health Department, there must be bathrooms at public bathing beaches — those protected by lifeguards. After a drowning incident some years ago, the town decided the downtown beach must be protected.
    The Health Department threatened to shut down the beach until the restroom facilities were provided but gave the town a waiver last year, allowing the use of a portable facility instead.
With Reporting by Joanne Pilgrim


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