A week after the Babylon Town Board passed a resolution awarding a 10-year trash collecting contract to Jody Enterprises of Babylon Inc., Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer got a call from the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office.
Jody's parent company was under investigation. Schaffer wasn't filled in on all the details at the time, but he knew one thing immediately following that call.
"There was no way I was signing that contract until I knew what was going on," Schaffer told Patch Thursday, hours after two managers at Jody Enterprises Inc. to grand larceny charges related to an alleged recycling scheme.
With no contract signed, Schaffer said the Town Board, at a meeting after Labor Day, will discuss rescinding the June resolution that authorized the town supervisor to enter into a contract with Jody Enterprises.
Schaffer, who in June the contract with Jody as providing long-term stability and the same level of service at a lower cost, said Jody had received "stellar reviews" from the four other towns--Smithtown, Huntington, Islip and Brookhaven--it currently works for.
"What do we have to do?" Schaffer said Thursday. "Ask a question on the RFP [request for proposal] that says, you know, please check off what felonies you are currently committing."
The two men who formed Jody Enterprises of Babylon Inc., William A. Stegemann, 55, of Lindenhurst, and Michael Dalessandro, 43, of East Patchogue, are accused of hauling recyclables meant for the Town of Smithtown's recycling facility to a salvage business in West Babylon, where they are alleged to have sold it for personal profit.
At a press conference Thursday, Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota said Schaffer provided documents used in the investigation.
"I believe, in my opinion, Jody Enterprises hid pertinent information from the Town of Babylon and provided false information to the Town of Babylon in efforts to win the contract," Spota said.
Schaffer said he will ask the Town Board to declare an emergency, which would allow it to enter into a short-term emergency procurement with another residential trash collector.
Babylon Source Separation Inc. (BSSI), the town's current trash service, will be offered the short-term contract first, Schaffer said. BSSI, whose contract expires on Oct. 1, would need to agree to match the second-lowest bid, behind Jody, of $13.40 per month for each of the town's 43,000 tax parcels, he said.
Schaffer, in a phone call with Patch, spoke of his thoughts when he learned of the charges against the Jody employees on Wednesday.
"I was very disappointed because we had been dealing with that company in good faith and they made a presentation to us...and now the DA himself is saying they falsified information and hid information from us," Schaffer said.
"I'm very disappointed," he added, "but very gratified for the work of the DA's office in uncovering this as quickly as they did."