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Petitions of a Republican candidate for County Legislature to represent Shelter Island invalidated: GOP leader compares him to Santos

A State Supreme Court Judge on Wednesday invalidated the petitions of Mattituck businessman Greg Williams, who announced last month he was a Republican candidate for the Suffolk County Legislature’s 1st District, which includes Shelter Island.

In his decision, Justice Jerry Garguilo said that Riverhead’s Catherine Stark — the designated candidate of the Suffolk County GOP — sought the court order invalidating Williams’ petitions “claiming they were permeated with fraud.”

Mr. Williams has said he would run a primary against Ms. Stark.

It is Mr. Williams petitions, and the signatures on them, that were challenged in court by Ms. Stark. At issue, according to the court’s decision, is whether the signing of the petitions was properly witnessed. The decision says the “signature of witness” line on the petitions was signed by Mr. Williams’ wife, Karen.

In a court hearing, questions were raised as to whether Karen Williams did, in fact, properly witness the signatures. In his decision, Justice Garguilo said “the court is mindful that the omission in all probability was caused by inexperience in the process.

“Nevertheless, the court is duty bound to follow the law. The petition of Catherine Stark … is GRANTED and the designating petition of Candidate Williams is invalidated.”

In a press release late Wednesday afternoon, Suffolk County GOP Shairman Jesse Garcia said Mr. Williams’ name would be removed from the ballot. He then went on in the release to compare Mr. Williams to Rep. George Santos, who ran for a congressional seat in western Nassau County and has been accused of fraud.

“The people of Suffolk County deserve better, and Mr. Williams has very clearly demonstrated he is unfit to serve in public office,” Mr. Garcia said.

He added that “lawyers representing the party will be referring the matter to the Suffolk County District Attorney.”

Former Riverhead Town Councilwoman Catherine Kent will be the Democratic candidate in November for the Legislature.