By J.Gavron and A.Turner
This Special Report investigates Brookhaven Town Clerk, Donna Lent, who’s running for re-election on Nov. 7th. Get the facts before you vote.
Did You Know ….
- Donna Lent was implicated in fraud and forgery of voter proxies and sign-in sheets by a NYS Supreme Court judge
- These forged documents even included the name of her own husband, Gregory Lent!
READ THE FULL REPORT
The job of Town Clerk may not sound consequential, but don’t let the name fool you. It plays a pivotal role in the town’s operation. According to Brookhaven Town Clerk, Donna Lent—who’s running for re-election this November—the Town Clerk is “frequently considered the center of town government.”
The clerk “attends and keeps an accurate record of all meetings of the Town Board . . . authoring the only chronological and historical record of the operation of the town . . . issues licenses . . . receives and records documents such as land records, vital statistics, and requests for access to public documents.”
The Town Clerk must possess a record proving she can be entrusted with this responsibility. But a closer look at Lent’s background—all of which is public record but little known—raises serious questions whether she is worthy of the public’s trust. Brookhaven voters are entitled to the facts. Here’s what Background Check discovered about Donna Lent:
As Secretary of the Suffolk County Working Families Party (“SCWFP”), Donna Lent was implicated in the fraud and forgery of voter proxies and sign-in sheets by a NYS Supreme Court Justice.
Here’s What Happened. . . . .Fellow WFP members filed a lawsuit against Donna Lent and others, claiming fraudulent and forged voter proxies and meeting sign-in sheets were used to establish a quorum at the meeting where Donna Lent was elected Secretary. One egregious example of fraud was a sign-in sheet indicating that Donna Lent’s husband, Gregory Lent, had attended the meeting, but a proxy for his vote indicated that he was absent!
Several witnesses “flatly denied” ever signing the proxies submitted in their names by Lent and Pohanka. Following a recess, Lent and Pohanka returned to the courtroom and conceded that the proxies were invalid.
Court “Deeply Troubled“. . . . .As Secretary of the Suffolk County WFP Secretary, Lent was responsible for ensuring that the proxies and sign-in sheets were valid. But the Court found serious problems with those documents:
“Review of the 71 proxy documents reveals that . . . the majority of the [signatures on the proxies] . . . do not match . . . the signatures on the voter registration of the individuals who purportedly signed the proxies. Additionally, several proxies were submitted from individuals who are also reflected as present by the sign in sheet. (Gregory Lent, Sharon Ward). (Emphasis added.)
“Indeed, the Court has found that at least 29 signatures do not match registration cards and at least three have wrong election districts. The Court is troubled by these findings and has been made aware (from letters submitted by petitioner’s counsel regarding scheduling of witnesses at the hearing scheduled to commence May 11, 2005) that testimony is expected from a number of persons denying that they signed the proxy” respondents [Lent and Pohonka] said they signed.”
After hearing witness testimony, the Court expressed its profound concern:
“[T]he Court has reflected upon the serious impact such fraudulent activities…..have upon the fundamental rights of citizens to participate in the political process. The Court is deeply troubled by the circumstances of this case.”
Click here for Part 2 to learn how Donna Lent narrowly escaped an order of contempt by a NYS Supreme Court judge.
Here are our sources:
- Klein v. Garfinkle #2187-04, (NYS Sup. Ct. Suff. Co. May 11, 2005) http://decisions.courts.state.ny.us/fcas/fcas_docs/2005jun/51002178720041sciv.pdf
- Klein v. Garfinkle #21787-04, (NYS Sup. Ct. Suff. Co. June 29, 2005) http://decisions.courts.state.ny.us/fcas/fcas_docs/2005jul/5100217872004100sciv.pdf