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Suffolk Notebook: Cooper Pulls Puppy Mill Bill, Guldi Pleads Guilty

Former Suffolk legislator receives concurrent sentences; alleged serial bank robber arrested on Friday.

After a that consisted of nearly three hours of comments both for and against the proposal, Leg. Jon Cooper, D-Llyod Harbor, pulled a bill on July 28 that would've banned the retail sale of puppies in Suffolk County.

The bill would have preempted state law, which, according to Article 35D of the New York State General Business Law, "supersede(s) any local law, rule, regulation or ordinance regulating or licensing pet dealers."

Concerns about the legality of Cooper's original bill were raised at the June public hearing.

"This proposal appears to be an illegal restraint of trade," said Joan Bernstein, a cat breeder from Moriches. "It may interfere with interstate trade and violate state law – which makes the regulation of the sale of dogs and cats a matter of state law. This specifically preempts local laws such as this proposal, which brings up the issue of Suffolk County being sued."

Instead, Cooper will propose enacting a rating system for pet stores and the dog breeders that supply them. The rating system would be voluntary rather than mandatory — otherwise it would violate state law — and be similar to the one-to-five star systems restaurants use.

“What I really like about the new idea is that it’s not going to put anyone out of business, and it’s not going to cost the taxpayers money,” Cooper said. “It'll be a way to steer business to pet stores that are reputable, and steer consumers away from those that aren't.”

Former Suffolk Legislator, George Guldi, Pleads Guilty

Former Suffolk County Legislator George Guldi, of Westhampton Beach, to 34 charges of grand larceny and one charge of scheme to defraud.

After to four to 12 years in prison for insurance fraud and grand larceny, Guldi pleaded on July 29 to take a lighter sentence of one to three years. The latest charges will run concurrently with his existing sentence, meaning they won't be added on to one another.

District Attorney Thomas Spota was hoping for a stricter sentence – eight and one-third to 25 years on top of his current sentence – for Guldi, who was involved in a  that involved nearly 60 Southampton homes and commercial properties.

"Over our objection the judge has promised the defendant a sentence that's completely inadequate to punish him and deter the massive mortgage fraud that's so severely impacted our local economy," Spota said.

Serial Bank Robbing Suspect Arrested

Suffolk Police announced on the arrest of a Queens man who they believe to be responsible for half a dozen bank robberies spanning from Suffolk County to upstate New York.

Michael Walsh, 58, was apprehended just three days after police believe he pulled his latest heist .

“We did recover cash, a weapon and a police scanner,'' said Detective Lieutenant Gerard Pelkofsky, who heads the Suffolk Major Case Unit. "He was prepared. He knew what he was doing. He went in with the express reason of robbing a bank.” 

A rundown of the banks Walsh is alleged to have robbed:

  • May 14: Marathon Bank, 1577 Northern Boulevard, Manhasset.
  • June 25: Marathon Bank, 1577 Northern Boulevard, Manhasset.
  • June 30: , 563 Larkfield Road, East Northport.
  • July 6:   
  • July 22: People’s United Bank, 401 Glen Cove Road, East Hills.
  • July 26: Chase Bank, 721 Fort Salonga Road, Northport. 
Tom Gillen August 01, 2011 at 08:56 PM
and don't get me wrong, I'm not going to tell anyone that they shouldn't buy from a respectable, responsible breeder. Heck, my current dog came from a reputable breeder out east. But if you are going to 'buy', do your homework. The last thing you want is to buy a puppy from a store where the dog's health is questionable, and dispostion is questionable. Not to mention you may be supporting a puppy mill in the process. It's all about $ (like everything) - people see a $1,500 purebred from a breeder and a $600 dog from a puppy store.....hmmmm.....could it be too good to be true?
Lorry Schlick August 02, 2011 at 05:38 AM
I won't continue to have long drawn out conversations about breeders vs puppy millers. This bill was soley for commercial kennel breeders who require USDA licenses. It matters not who you are or what you do, this bill was about cruelty to canines in mass breeding facilites. No one can be against that. Nuff said...
Nancy Major August 02, 2011 at 07:16 AM
I have to agree with Tom do your home work you might be surprised at where the most harm to dogs and cats is done
Tom August 02, 2011 at 12:55 PM
Lorry like all liberals when you are wrong your answer, nuff said! Short and sweet enough for you?
Troy Gunther October 27, 2011 at 04:04 PM
i agree

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