Sentencing is delayed in Catz case

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The sentencing of Hampton Bays School Board member Chris Catz, who pleaded guilty in March to stealing more than $9,000 worth of loose coins from his former employer, Verizon Communications, has been postponed until July 10, according to the Suffolk County district attorney’s office.

A spokeswoman for District Attorney Thomas Spota could not explain on Monday why the sentencing, originally scheduled for last Thursday, May 8, in Suffolk County Supreme Court, was postponed until this summer.

Mr. Catz’s lawyer, Patrick O’Connell of Tinari, O’Connell, Orborn & Kaufman in Central Islip, could not be reached for comment.

New York State Public Officers Law states that an individual who has been convicted of a felony cannot serve on a school board. Mr. Catz, who pleaded guilty in March to one count of fourth-degree grand larceny, a felony, has not yet resigned from his post.

A member of the Hampton Bays School Board for the past five years, Mr. Catz was arrested in January 2007 and accused of stealing loose change from his former employer. The change was taken from the coin vaults of Verizon pay phones between September and November 2006, according to authorities.

Mr. Catz was terminated from Verizon Communications in December 2006. He originally pleaded not guilty to the grand larceny charges in September 2007 before switching his plea, according to police.

Vera Chinese

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