Corey Klein Wins Primary for City Judge; A Resident Sues Him on Our Behalf

Corey Klein won the democratic primary for City Judge yesterday.  The losing candidate, Scott Nigro, did not have the official endorsement of the LB Democratic Committee, but the word on the street was that he was their man. And some associated with the LB Dems, like writer Ruth Bernstein Banschik, has excoriated Klein here and elsewhere. Corey has done plenty of digging, defending and fighting for the current democrat administration, so this remains a puzzle.  In the meantime, Jay Gusler, no friend of anyone in power now or in the past, so it seems, attacked Klein in SeabytheCity and apparently also recently sued Klein on behalf of Long Beach taxpayers for, it appears, conducting a private law practice while working for the City and other things.  See copy of lawsuit here>> Scan.

So, moving forward we have Klein as candidate for City Judge, who may have improperly signed a settlement agreement with Haberman, who has been representing and helping the democrat administration, but who now appears on the outs with them and who is being sued by a resident, running against republican Ted Hommel, his former co-worker and boss(?), who also sued the City last year for $1 million for violating his civil rights by firing him.

Dear readers — Looking for facts, not name calling.  The election will be here before you know it.

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21 Responses to Corey Klein Wins Primary for City Judge; A Resident Sues Him on Our Behalf

  1. beachmom says:

    Hommel and Klein should be required to debate.

  2. Jay Gusler says:

    As an aside, I was contacted by the attorneys for Klein and Agostisi yesterday (Rosenberg, Calica & Birney again). It would appear that the City is now illegally providing legal defense for both Klein and Agostisi at taxpayer expense. I’ll be going to court to put a stop to this as well.

    This lawsuit, while brought by me, is “on behalf” of the City, and yet the City is providing taxpayer funded legal representation to the defendants that they themselves are suing through me. Accordingly, we have the City defending thieves that have stolen (and continue to steal) from all of us. Only in Long Beach.

    • LayItBare says:

      Jay, we are reviewing the materials you’ve provided for our consideration and trying to boil down to factual, digestible prose for our readers. Apropos of your complaint against Klein and Agosti, another reader has inquired of the practice of law by a current member of the PD. We are not familiar with the regulations – and are a bit time pressed. Maybe you know the situation and the rules? Or maybe someone else does and can chime in.

      • Jay Gusler says:

        I’m sorry, but I have no knowledge of that situation. I’m sure many LBPD members have secondary (outside) employment. However, I feel that I can confidently say that none would engage in their private business pursuits while on City time, or using City resources.

      • LayItBare says:

        Jay — probably an unfair question to have asked you, although residents and readers wonder. Thank you, TLBS

  3. Jay Gusler says:

    Just returned from Court where Klein and Agostisi’s lawyers were able to obtain a 60 day extension of time within which to respond to my lawsuit. This was obviously in an effort to push back past this coming Election Day anything that may be damaging to Klein. Typical Klein: delay, delay, delay. If he had nothing to worry about, he’d tackle this head-on. Instead he wants to bury it until after the election. I’ll let the readers draw their own inferences.

  4. Skeptic says:

    Klein and Hommel will be at Westholme Civic Association meeting on October 2 at 7 PM at the VFW on W. Park Ave. Come and question.

  5. Just the Fax says:

    FACT: Klein was Hommel’s Boss, not the other way around.

    FACT: Hommel’s $1M lawsuit against LB Taxpayers was thrown out of court.

    • Jay Gusler says:

      Don’t know exactly what the point of these “facts” are, but yes; Klein was Hommel’s boss. Interestingly, when Hommel announced his intention to run for City Court Judge, Klein fired him. At the time, Klein cited to (among other things) the inherent conflict between running for the post while simultaneously practicing in that very same court. Somehow the rationale relied upon by Klein in firing Hommel does not apply to him (Klein) now that he is running – while still practicing before the very court he wants to be a judge of.

      As for the dismissal of the lawsuit, I’ve read it and, quite frankly, think the judge got it wrong. In my opinion, the Court applied the wrong analysis to the facts present in that matter. My guess is that Hommel did not see the need to expend the resources an appeal would have consumed when there was another election right around the corner.

      I’d also point out that Hommel’s lawsuit wasn’t “against LB taxpayers”, rather it was against Klein and those who blindly rely on his advice. The ‘LB taxpayer’ is a collateral casualty of the “tough shit; let ’em sue us” approach to governing our City.

      If someone feels that they have been aggrieved by governmental action, it is their absolute right to seek redress in the courts. However, our City government has put laws on it’s books that absolutely shields City officials from all liability, no matter how egregious their wrongdoing. Thus personally indemnified, City officers operate with impunity while the taxpayer is the only one left to pick up the tab for the misdeeds of those entrusted with looking out for us.

  6. LayItBare says:

    Thanks Just the Fax for these facts. Any facts or fact-based opinions bearing on either’s fitness for the office they seek?

  7. LayItBare says:

    Reminder to go to VFW Thursday night at 7 to see Klein and Hommel. See details at “Skeptic” above.

  8. Skeptic says:

    Hommel and Klein talked only for a few minutes last night at the VFW. Hommel sounded like he had related experience for the position. He has done civil and criminal work for many years. Klein says he should be hired because he lives here and has worked here for 20 years and knows the people who will come before him as a judge so he will be fair and reasonable. Hommel pointed out that Klein has no criminal experience.

  9. Jay Gusler says:

    Is that the best Klein has got? That he’s a long-time resident and that he “knows the people”? Hommel (and his family) has LB roots going back way more than twenty years. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Hommel would also be familiar with those coming before the court.

    Assuming these factors are even relevant to being qualified to sit as a judge, it seems that both candidates may fairly lay claim to being local products who are attuned to what goes on in our City. So, if both candidates possess this “quality” in equal shares, one should next look to their respective legal backgrounds to distinguish one from the other. In my eyes, Hommel’s background – as set out in his literature, his resume, and the times I’ve heard him speak – is far more diverse and comprehensive than Klein’s. A judge in City Court could preside over vastly divergent types of legal matters. It would seem that Hommel’s broad variety of positions, and the concomitant legal experience he’s picked up along the way, would render him far more qualified than Klein who has pretty much worked for the City his entire career.

    Not saying that spending a long time in the employ of the City is per se, bad; but it limits what Klein has been exposed to. As City Manager Schnirman himself commented in the media regarding the Haberman debacle, the City was “out-lawyered” in that matter. Klein was the guy that was out-lawyered. The City obviously felt that Klein’s performance in that case was sub par. Should we elect to the bench a guy whose current boss feels he’s not the most competent lawyer out there?

  10. LayItBare says:

    Jay, We cannot argue with your comments. This election seems like it will come down to who is your friend or likes you, not who is qualified. We don’t know much about Hommel except what his election materials say, which do seem to show better experience for this position.

    • Just the Fax says:

      Yes. If a qualification for judge involves drinking lots of alcohol, we know who wins this one.

      • LayItBare says:

        Just the Fax — We don’t know which candidate you are referring to and we are “seeking light” here? The election is 3 weeks away and there has been little written about these two other than their campaign literature. Please fill in details on capabilities, ethics, et cetera. Thank you.

      • Jay Gusler says:

        I don’t know about Hommel’s drinking habits, but I often see Klein out and about in our local watering holes. Sutton Place would seem to be his favorite spot. In fact, I’ve been told by more than one bartender that Klein’s MO is to drop a $20 on the bar and expect to drink all night on it. He’s also been described as a lousy tipper.

        If I read you correctly, you seem to be implying that Hommel may have a drinking problem. For all I know, he may. But keep in mind that he worked for the City in Corp Counsel’s office, so whatever “problem” he MAY have didn’t deter the City from hiring him on as one of their staff attorneys. He’s also presently with the Nassau County Attorneys Office. I have to think the County would be disinclined to hire someone with a substance abuse problem. Even assuming Hommel has a drinking problem, this is not why he lost his job with the City. Rather, he was fired by his then boss (Klein) who wanted the post for himself, but he was too scared to run against the incumbent (Tepper).

  11. Jay Gusler says:

    I would hope that the visitors to this site would take the time to read the papers I filed as part of my lawsuit.

    While the allegations therein are just that – allegations, it is noteworthy that Klein and Agostisi went into court and asked for a 60 day extension of time to respond to the lawsuit. The law only allows 20 days from the time I filed it. After getting served they sat on their hands for 16 days or so while shopping for a lawyer. Lo and behold, they ended up hiring Rosenberg, Calica and Birney (RCB)(yes, the same Rosenberg that was involved in the scandal discussed in Newsday this past Sunday). It’s curious that it took them as long as it did to hire RCB in light of the fact that RCB is already in the employ of the City.

    So, it’s obvious that Klein and Agostisi took as much of the 20 day window provided under the law to respond before making an application to the court for more time. The result is that they won’t be filing any responsive pleading of any kind until November 27th. A simple look at the calendar will tell you that this date falls after Election Day, which is November 4th.

    As the allegations in the lawsuit would – if admitted – constitute a crime, it can reasonably be assumed that Klein and Agostisi will be denying them. A lawyer would be hard pressed to spend an hour drafting a denial. Even if you accept that it took them as long as it did to select an attorney, there was still ample time to submit a denial of the charges. If, on the other hand, they cannot deny the charges without lying to the court, the only option is to ask for more time so that they can conjure up some BS motion practice in order to forestall for as long as possible having to admit or deny the allegations. I have every confidence that a motion to dismiss the action is forthcoming. That motion will tie the case up for 6-12 months before a decision is rendered.

    It is submitted that these dilatory moves are the strategies employed by the guilty. If the lawsuit lacked merit, the accused would be quick to claim their innocence and eager to have their names cleared in the fastest time possible. Instead we see delay, delay, delay. The guilty also love to hide behind their inability to comment on pending litigation. Accordingly, we can expect to hear nothing from either of them. This is pathetic and sad.

    These are public officials that have been fleecing us for years. In Klein’s case, for decades. The public – especially with an election just around the corner – have a right to hear from those accused of robbing us. There should be outrage on the part of the public. Not just outrage at how we’ve been taken advantage of all these years, but for how these cowards are hiding behind legal machinations in order to avoid answering to the people.

  12. Slapshot says:

    Corey is an idiot. Dumb. If you know him, you know. But he may do less damage to Long Beach as a judge then he does as City lawyer.

  13. LayItBare says:

    Slapshot — We’ve let your comments in, but we’d ask that the personal characterizations like “idiot” and “dumb”not be used again. They are mild but will lead down a path we are not interested in. Thank you.

  14. LayItBare says:

    More to come on Klein/Hommel election by Monday!

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