City of Hempstead to vote on controversial contract and deal with Malibu Beach Park vendor


Hempstead city council is due to vote Tuesday on awarding a 15-year contract to operate a town-owned beach club to a company that has accumulated debts to Hempstead and is the subject of close scrutiny by federal law enforcement.

The board is to consider a resolution to grant the vendor, Dover Gourmet Corporation of Freeport, a new license agreement to operate Malibu Beach Park in Lido Beach until 2036. Dover has operated the facility since 2009.

The resolution would also settle the dispute brought by Dover last year over the validity of an earlier contract extension to manage Malibu.

The measure, if approved, would end more than a year of controversy at Hempstead on Dover, whose work in Malibu led to allegations of corruption and political demagoguery traded between the former city supervisor and the Managing Director of Dover, Butch Yamali.

Neither Yamali nor Hempstead supervisor Don Clavin responded to requests for comment on Sunday.

Donald Chesworth, a lawyer representing Hempstead, said in a statement that the settlement “is in the best interests of the city’s residents and provides predictability as to the outcome of all outstanding claims from both parties without additional litigation costs. “. He also said that the new agreement “includes important institutional guarantees by requiring that all changes and amendments be submitted for the approval of the city council”.

Under the proposed contract, Dover raised $ 1.2 million in unpaid license fees to the city to operate Malibu.

Dover would have until April 2022 to reimburse them to Hempstead. But, as part of the new contract, the city would also offer Dover $ 2.4 million in credits for earlier capital improvements in Malibu.

If the contract is approved, Dover will pay Hempstead an annual royalty of $ 560,000 to operate Malibu. Under a previous contract extension, Dover was to pay the city about $ 534,000 per year.

The former Hempstead Parks Commissioner and Controller authorized the extension in April 2019, allowing Dover to rule Malibu for an additional five years.

But the company had gone months without paying the license fees on the property.

Former Hempstead supervisor Laura Gillen, the only Democrat to hold Hempstead’s highest office in the past century, criticized the city’s relationship with Yamali last summer, arguing that Republican officials in Hempstead had her proposed a “deal of heart” because of his ties to the local Republican leadership. .

Newsday reported last summer that Yamali paid Nassau County Republican Committee chairman Joseph Cairo and son Cairo more than $ 1 million over 10 years for legal and project management work in Malibu .

In August, the US attorney for the Eastern District of New York subpoenaed Hempstead over Dover-related cases. A spokesperson for the US attorney’s office declined on Sunday to say whether the investigation is ongoing.

Yamali disputed Gillen’s claims, arguing that she was seeking to politicize the issue to bolster her re-election campaign. He went to the Supreme Court of the State of Nassau to have the contract declared valid. Gillen lost his seat to Clavin, a Republican, in November 2019. Republicans now control city council by a six-to-one margin.

Yamali disputed that his company owed anything to Hempstead. He said city officials told him not to pay the rent until the two sides agreed on how to account for millions of dollars in capital improvements he made to the city. the aging facility, which includes hundreds of beach cabanas, a restaurant, pools, and tennis courts.

In an interview shortly after taking office in January, Clavin declined to take a position on the Dover contract, saying he was awaiting the outcome of the litigation and any federal investigation.

He did not respond to questions on Sunday as to whether he supported the proposed settlement and contract, whether Dover’s past due payment history was a concern and whether Hempstead had considered proposals from other companies to operate Malibu. .

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