May 31, 2013
Farmingville, NY – Brookhaven Town announced today that a Medford landlord, who was arrested last week for failing to appear at his May 23 sentencing, was sentenced yesterday by Suffolk County Sixth District Court Judge Janine Barbera-Dalli to seven days in jail and $14,000 in fines. He was also served with seven conditional discharges to bring the properties back into compliance with Town codes. The landlord, Mr. Chesley Ruffin, was convicted earlier this year for violating Town housing codes on three properties he owns in Medford. After failing to appear for his original sentencing, Mr. Ruffin was arrested and ordered to be held in custody by Judge Barbera-Dalli until he posted $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond. On May 24, he was released after posting the bond. This case is an example of how the Town, under the current administration, has taken a more aggressive approach to going after absentee landlords whose illegal actions are detrimental to the community.
“This is a major victory for our Law Department and the Medford residents who have been most affected by such a blatant disregard for our codes,” said Supervisor Romaine. “Illegal multi-family housing can bring down a neighborhood, lower property values and create a health and safety threat to law abiding people. The message here is that property owners who are in violation of our codes should take heed and comply, otherwise we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law and the result may be jail.”
Mr. Ruffin was convicted and sentenced for the following housing code violations:
15 Dourland Road, Medford - Found guilty for having no rental registration (82-10), no certificate of occupancy for changing the use of a shed to a cooking facility (85-20) and unregistered vehicle (45-6).
53 West Yaphank Road, Medford - Found guilty for having no rental registration and unregistered vehicle.
76 Gray Avenue, Medford - Found guilty for having no rental registration, vehicle parked on the front lawn (85-356) and unregistered vehicle.
Upcoming cases that have not gone to trial or no disposition has been reached include:
61 Gray Avenue, Medford - No rental registration.
10 Dourland Road, Medford - No rental registration.
34 Wilson Avenue, Medford - No rental registration
Division of Public Information * Office of the Supervisor
One Independence Hill • Farmingville • NY 11738 • Phone (631) 451-6595 • Fax (631) 451-6258