Court Stops Vote on Dems’ Leader

Rona Klopman, a member of the East Hampton Democratic Committee, is seeking its leadership post. Durell Godfrey

The possibility of electing a new chairperson of the East Hampton Town Democratic Committee was scuttled last night after a State Supreme Court judge issued a temporary restraining order on Monday forbidding the committee from conducting a vote before its June 20 meeting. 

The order was a victory for Rona Klopman, an Amagansett resident seeking to be the committee chairwoman. She filed an Article 78 action against the committee last month, demanding that the committee determine its true membership and that the election be held on the basis of the results. 

She has charged that Jeanne Frankl, the committee’s present chairwoman, improperly revised the list of the current committee members, who date to 2016. The allegation is that Ms. Frankl moved committee members from one election district to another without their consent in an effort to influence the election’s outcome by giving greater weight to some members based on the number of Democrats in each district who voted in the last gubernatorial election. The legal brief also claims that she illegally terminated some committee members. 

Ms. Frankl has denied the accusations. She had repeatedly expressed her intention to step down from the leadership position, but rescinded a February announcement of her resignation. She told The Star last month that she favors Cate Rogers, another candidate for chairwoman, over Ms. Klopman. 

Before a vote can be held, the judge wrote in the restraining order, the committee must make “the determination of the true membership of the committee” pursuant to election law and the rules and regulations of the County Democratic Committee.