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Sep 15, 2010 10:14 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Pat Lynch continues lawsuit against town

Sep 15, 2010 10:14 AM

Pat Lynch is waging another lawsuit against the Southampton Town animal shelter, the town and specific shelter officials for once again barring her from volunteering at the facility.

In a 75-page lawsuit filed earlier this summer, Ms. Lynch is seeking $1 million in compensatory and another $1 million in punitive damages in an attempt to correct her damaged reputation, and to compel town officials to “do the right thing,” said her lawyer, Steven Morelli of Garden City. According to the lawsuit filed on June 24, Ms. Lynch was rejected as a volunteer after the Southampton Town Animal Shelter Foundation took over operations at the Hampton Bays center on January 1.

Philanthropist Susan Allen, who leads the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation Inc., and Director of Personnel Susan Kelly—both of whom are listed as defendants on the litigation—on September 7 filed a motion to strike Ms. Lynch’s lawsuit, according to Jasmine Major, an intake clerk at the federal courthouse in Central Islip. The town has yet to file a response, according to Assistant Town Attorney Joseph Burke.

Ms. Lynch successfully sued Southampton Town over being prohibited from volunteering at the town-operated shelter in 2004. A court ruled that her First Amendment rights had been violated, since the ban was apparently in response to public criticism Ms. Lynch had leveled against the facility.

Mr. Morelli said the town might counter with the argument that the shelter is now privatized and therefore not required to accept her volunteer services. But Mr. Morelli contends that the shelter still receives taxpayer funding.

“They’re claiming that they can do it because it’s a private shelter,” Mr. Morelli said. “However, you have town officials that work for the so-called private shelter that’s being paid for by taxpayer money. There’s taxpayer money going into the shelter—hundreds of thousands, from what I understand—and they won’t let the lady walk the dog.”

In addition to Ms. Allen and Ms. Kelly, the lawsuit also names Animal Shelter Supervisor Donald Bambrick as defendants. Mr. Bambrick and Town Attorney Michael Sordi declined to comment on Ms. Lynch’s allegations last month. Ms. Allen and Ms. Kelly did not return calls seeking comment this week on their recent motion to dismiss.

Ms. Lynch said that when she went to the shelter to sign up as a volunteer, she was presented with an application that asked if the applicant had previously been involved in litigation with the facility—which she was. According to the lawsuit, Ms. Kelly, the director of 
personnel at the foundation, rejected her application after consulting with the foundation’s attorneys and deemed it was legal to do so because the 
facility is now considered “an independent not-for-profit corporation.”

But Ms. Lynch rejected the argument, noting that taxpayers pay for the shelter’s utilities, and that town employees, who are paid by town taxpayers, still work at the shelter.

“The crux of their case is going to be that they’re privatized,” she said. “That is a crock. You can’t be privatized and have town employees like Bambrick and his people at the desk running the place.”

Ms. Lynch also claims in the suit that about a week after she was denied volunteering, another person seeking to volunteer at the shelter was not subjected to the same application process she was.

“Ms. Lynch has been damaged again,” Mr. Morelli said. “Her reputation is being damaged. Can you imaging going to a shelter to walk dogs and be turned away? I mean, it’s bizarre. I mean, her reputation is being harmed.”

Ms. Lynch’s relationship with the shelter has been a tumultuous one. In 2004, she was rejected as a volunteer dog walker. She filed a suit in February of that year, charging that the town had violated her First Amendment rights, stating that the reason she was dropped was because of her public criticism of the shelter.

In 2007, the U.S. District Court in Central Islip ruled in Ms. Lynch’s favor, initially awarding her $251,000 in damages. That number was reduced to $50,000, by U.S. District Judge Arthur Spatt, and she was awarded an additional $71,000 to cover legal fees. The town unsuccessfully appealed the decision, 
which was upheld in December 2008.

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don't bite the hand that feeds you.......oh that's right you volunteer...so bite yourself!
By uncleronk (136), southold on Sep 7, 10 3:34 PM
Yet another costly legal battle incurred by political malfeasance and underwritten by the poor taxpayer.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Sep 16, 10 3:06 PM
This is a ridiculous suit that should be dropped. Why doesn't she leave the shelter alone. They are doing a great job saving animals and don't deserve to be bashed once again by this person.
By Hillsnbells (42), Southampton on Sep 16, 10 3:58 PM
1 member liked this comment
The suit had NOTHING to do with her being a volunteer, it was about the "emotional distress" she suffered when she was dismissed due to her filing suit. Seriously, would you have a witness for the prosecution, working at the defendant's place of business?

I don't think so.

She was awarded damages for "emotional distress" under Section 1983, June 27, 2007. In December '08 this decision was upheld, which mystifies me, but then again, maybe our society has become a bit liberal, ...more
By Mr. Z (11491), North Sea on Sep 23, 10 12:05 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By GoldenBoy (342), EastEnd on Sep 16, 10 4:06 PM
""“Her reputation is being damaged. Can you imaging going to a shelter to walk dogs and be turned away? I mean, it’s bizarre. I mean, her reputation is being harmed.” Mr. Morelli said. ""

NOTE TO MR MORELLI: I think it's pretty safe to say that she does a good job of damaging her own reputation. Why doesn't this woman stop wasting tax payer money? They don't want her there because she's really hard to deal with. Go volunteer for ARF instead...unless they don't want you there either.
By RealLocal (76), Bridgehampton on Sep 16, 10 4:34 PM
3 members liked this comment
Obviously they turned her away for a reason. They dont just tell certain people they can not help. Take the money you won in that lawsuit and start you own asylum hem hem...i mean shelter
By GoldenBoy (342), EastEnd on Sep 16, 10 4:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By lifesaver (118), speonk on Sep 16, 10 4:54 PM
I'd really like to know just how her "First Amendment rights" have truly been violated.

The shelter is not some exclusive club, or gender segregated educational institution.

They don't need volunteers, they don't want her as a volunteer, so now she will stomp her legally entitled feet untill her petulant desire is satiated.

This is more pathetic than watching a tree frog, that thinks it is a bird...
Sep 16, 10 5:24 PM appended by Mr. Z
OH, and I left out "sanguineous"...
By Mr. Z (11491), North Sea on Sep 16, 10 5:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
Susan is a PHILANTHROPIST. I think you may be confusing her with some celebutante, or someone of such nature.

Someone who HIDES behind the First Amendment, has no right invoking it. She (Pat) not only made a public spectacle of herself with editorials, radio, and other instruments of the Fourth Estate, she became "emotionally distressed" when those same rights and attributes backfired on her. Obviously she did not intelligently anticipate the consequences of her actions (filing an order ...more
Sep 23, 10 11:40 PM appended by Mr. Z
And, by the way, nothing in my comment remotely resembles the definition of slander.
By Mr. Z (11491), North Sea on Sep 22, 10 11:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
Lynch stop waisting tax payer money so the animals can be taken care of. Every dollar you take is 1 less dollar for the shelter. You're hurting the very cause you so desperiately want to help. Use your head and think . You are embarrassing yourself and destroying your own reputation. Be an adult and walk away with dignity.
By lifesaver (118), speonk on Sep 16, 10 5:48 PM
1 member liked this comment
Town government has a long history of crapping on town employees who speak up. Your chances of promotion go out the window, you're shunted off into meaningless or miserable work, ignored and subtlety mistreated with the intention of making you resign (because they can't fire you without due cause).

They did the same thing to Lynch once, and probably did it to her again. It is a persistent pattern of bureaucratic behavior. She should have learned her lesson and found something else to do. ...more
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Sep 16, 10 6:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
What are you talking about? Who did what to Pat Lynch?.
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Sep 17, 10 12:16 AM
1 member liked this comment
Will we see Pat at Saturday night's Shelter fund-raiser at the Boardy Barn?
By barnbabe (64), westhampton beach on Sep 16, 10 7:13 PM
1 member liked this comment
Pat Lynch should be banned from the shelter she clearly has mental problems.
Ms. Allen has done so much for the shelter since she took over, and the animals are so much better off.
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Sep 17, 10 12:31 AM
1 member liked this comment
If you know Pat Lynch, you will better understand why she was banned from the shelter. I wouldn't want her in my home. She is a trouble maker who thrives on stirring up problems between people. This law suit isn't about "access" to the shelter, it's about "revenge" and "making money at the taxpayer's expense". She won the first law suit and was handsomely PAID BY TAXPAYERS and now she's out to put her hand in our pocket once again. Any wonder why they won't let her near innocent little animals ...more
By Dodger (161), Southampton Village on Sep 17, 10 10:57 AM
1 member liked this comment
I once stood behind an elderly couple at what was then the Genovese drug store in Hampton Bays. They seemingly did everything to extend the checking out process (adding "last minute" items repeatedly and then having to be shown that the updated total was correct). The cashier did everything they asked without comment but when I caught her eye, she looked at the ceiling. When they were f-i-n-a-l-l-y finished I asked her what that was all about. She said that they went through the same routine ...more
By highhatsize (4124), East Quogue on Sep 17, 10 12:32 PM
1 member liked this comment
All I can think about is what all this wasted money could do for the very animals this woman claims she cares about. It is clear her only goal is to make money for herself through ridiculous lawsuits. What a sad existence. No wonder this shelter wants nothing to do with her. From what I hear, Ms. Allen is doing a wonderful job. She should not have to deal with this crap.
By Ms. Jane Q. Public (147), Southampton on Sep 17, 10 1:59 PM
3 members liked this comment
Pat Lynch is, was and seemingly will always be trouble. She needs attention and she is using the legal system to get it. For goodness sake, all the money she is paying to harm the reputation of good and decent people who take care of animals is a violation of human rights. Stop this foolishness ... you were rejected as a volunteer because you want to do more than volunteer ... you want to dictate policy and have everything YOUR way. It's not like that. So, sit, stay and shut up.
By Nancy Q. (27), east Hampton on Sep 17, 10 4:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
You seem to have a personal vendetta against Ms.Lynch, rather than a good argument. Bringing personal baggage into this type of situation almost always clouds the water. I suggest taking a deep breath, clearing your head and examing the real issues at hand. Not just the obviously negative bad oppinion you have towards Ms. Lynch. Have a good weekend. Get off the computer abnd get some fresh air.
By em2888 (1), plandome on Sep 17, 10 5:30 PM
Perhaps her mother held her too much, or, not enough?

Either way, I don't see any vendetta here, and I really don't see where em2888 is coming from, unless it was thought both "Q" and "Q" are the same party.

Perhaps you are a close friend, or relation?
By Mr. Z (11491), North Sea on Sep 17, 10 6:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
em2888
No one here has a vendetta against Pat Lynch. She is a trouble maker, and it is she that has a vendetta. This is what she does (sues) when she does not get her way, trying to micro manage the shelter operation and as Nancy Q stated she tried to dictate policy.
Pat Lynch has only has herself to blame for all the negative comments. Read her commens above. The woman as serious anger issues.
Now maybe you should get some fresh air.

BTW it had to Pat Lynch herself who insisted ...more
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Sep 17, 10 9:22 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By dogtired (29), north sea on Sep 20, 10 3:29 PM
I am not sure who you believe these "well organized buddies" are. I do no know anyone at the shelter nor do I know Ms. Lynch. I do know that I am sick of reading her unending letters to the editor and her law suits. As someone pointed out, it does not in anyway help the animals she supposedly champions.
By bb (905), Hampton Bays on Sep 23, 10 9:59 PM
No personal vendetta against Pat Lynch ... just knowledge of how she operates.
It's all about her judgement about what's right and wrong. She is divisive -
and undermines just to get her way.
By Nancy Q. (27), east Hampton on Sep 17, 10 10:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
As I recall, our highest court once upheld segregation.

Our system ain't perfect, and has been known to be wrong...
By Mr. Z (11491), North Sea on Sep 22, 10 10:06 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By johnnyhampton (81), Southampton on Sep 18, 10 7:00 PM
They won't let me clean up doggy-doo....Gimme 2 million!!
By Kaiser Sozay (31), east end on Sep 18, 10 8:12 PM
Jean Lynch seems to have become a radical canine extremist who even dog lovers won't follow because her views are too extreme. I think she should be allowed to volunteer and her opinions given the consideration they deserve. I hate the idea of her getting another cent of taxpayers money through lawsuits. Perhaps if the other volunteers treat her likes the stuff they pick up while walking dogs, she will get the message. I fear they are probably too polite to do that.
Sep 19, 10 1:12 PM appended by METCOMedia
Correction "Pat Lynch". Sorry Jean!
By METCOMedia (116), Hampton Bays on Sep 19, 10 1:12 PM
How to attain finacial security when you are unemployable by Pat Laynch:
1)Pretend to be a caring,kind (elderly) animal activist to get your foot in the door
2) Can't keep up act for long and true personality comes out becoming impossible to be around
3)When asked nicley to leave, make false allegations against those actually rescuing and providing care
4)Force municipality to ban you when you become too much of a liability
5)Sue for as much as possible
6) DO NOT GIVE ANY ...more
Sep 19, 10 2:04 PM appended by dogtired
How much juice does the lyncher have with you guys. First you print a picture of her from many years ago to make her appear more youthful - then you remove the article immediately after my stinging yet accurate comments. She scares the crap out of you doesn't she. Let me guess - she threatened to sue?
By dogtired (29), north sea on Sep 19, 10 2:04 PM
2 members liked this comment
Look's like Pat should be in a shelter
By oldguy (60), hamptons on Sep 20, 10 12:20 PM
and walked 2 times a day
By oldguy (60), hamptons on Sep 20, 10 10:48 PM
Pat Lynch, please move to somewhere else.
By local (106), north sea on Sep 20, 10 12:57 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Arthur187 (3), Southampton on Sep 22, 10 10:57 AM
Fascinating how Lynch has an unending forum to spew her venom through the SH Press, cries 1st ammendment violation when she is called on her fabricated stories. But let a commenter expose her or her new best friend george (Simpson -google it to better understand HIS agenda) and those comments get removed.
By dogtired (29), north sea on Sep 22, 10 12:08 PM
I sent you an e-mail regarding your comment that was removed.
By BOReilly (135), 27east Web Editor on Sep 22, 10 12:38 PM
lawsuit..lawsuit...litigate..litigate - you two speak the same languauge
By dogtired (29), north sea on Sep 22, 10 3:20 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By dogtired (29), north sea on Sep 22, 10 3:28 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By dogtired (29), north sea on Sep 22, 10 3:28 PM
*language
By dogtired (29), north sea on Sep 22, 10 3:28 PM
sorry for the redunancy -gremlins in the computer
I've had enough. It's a beautiful day and I'm off to walk dogs!
Uh oh just added another million to somebody's lawsuit.
By dogtired (29), north sea on Sep 22, 10 3:34 PM
Thanks B.O. you're absolutely right.
By dogtired (29), north sea on Sep 22, 10 10:36 PM
I'd be afraid she'd pull Jerky Boys'.

"Sue everybody..."
By Mr. Z (11491), North Sea on Sep 22, 10 10:50 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By IcanCnovember (15), Southampton on Sep 22, 10 12:35 PM
Another expensive lawsuit the Town will definitely lose. How can prior litigation against the Town serve as a basis to bar her from volunteering? This smacks of government intimidation of the worst kind. The Town's message is clear: Don't sue us, because if you do, we're going to punish you. It's particularly egregious in this instance, since Lynch WON her earlier suit (both a jury and appeals court agreed with her). And while it may be the shelter denying her application, I predict the Town ...more
By CoweeDewey (110), East Quogue on Sep 22, 10 12:41 PM
Was any reason given for rejecting her application as a volunteer???
I'll say this much ... if you are unfortunate enough to be a dog in need, you couldn't ask for a stonger advocate than Pat. She will go to blows with ANYONE when it comes to helping or saving a dog... particularly life or death situations. Some people say they love animals. But when it comes to showing support, are they willing to give of themselves? Will they adopt? foster? volunteer? donate? even make a phone call? I've ...more
By Sue Hansen (2), Rocky Point on Sep 22, 10 2:05 PM
She was on the opposite side of a lawsuit against the town.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

When is the last time someone "burned" you most egregiously, and you welcomed them back with open arms?
Sep 22, 10 10:49 PM appended by Mr. Z
"On February 27, 2004, after the plaintiff filed an order to show cause in support of a request for an injunction to stop the euthanasia policy, she was approached by two or three uniformed Town Code Enforcement Officers, was directed to leave, and she was immediately escorted out of the Animal Shelter."
By Mr. Z (11491), North Sea on Sep 22, 10 10:49 PM
Hey sue why cant pat go volunteer somewhere else?did she donate any of that money from her lawsuit back to animals? come on get real she is asue happy person who think she is more important to the animals then the shelters themselves
By GoldenBoy (342), EastEnd on Sep 22, 10 5:21 PM
2 members liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By GoldenBoy (342), EastEnd on Sep 22, 10 8:18 PM
Almost 80% of the people Cablevision polled back in 2004 responded that euthanization of sick, or hard to adopt animals is the right thing to do.

Isn't that how all of this assinine mess began?

Over the fact she felt she should be able to dictate policy in regard to whether or not an animal should be put down?
Sep 22, 10 10:21 PM appended by Mr. Z
Oh, and I forgot, because she's a newswoman, her rights under the "Freedom of the Press" were violated. What part of "NO COMMENT" did she not grasp?
By Mr. Z (11491), North Sea on Sep 22, 10 10:21 PM
She SUED the shelter. While lis pendens is in existence, she CANNOT as the key witness for the plaintiff, continue in her volunteer duties on the premises of the DEFENDANT.

It would be like having a member of the prosecution, interning at the defense's law firm.

It just DOESN'T work that way...
Sep 23, 10 6:24 PM appended by Mr. Z
Interrogative: If someone spat in your face, would you welcome them back into your home?
By Mr. Z (11491), North Sea on Sep 23, 10 6:24 PM
"On February 27, 2004, after the plaintiff filed an order to show cause in support of a request for an injunction to stop the euthanasia policy, she was approached by two or three uniformed Town Code Enforcement Officers, was directed to leave, and she was immediately escorted out of the Animal Shelter."

http://www.rsvpinc.org/rsvp/newsletters/2008/PatLynch/SpattRuling.pdf
By Mr. Z (11491), North Sea on Sep 23, 10 6:29 PM
"99% of the Germans during WW2 thought that Jews should be killed."

Really?? Where did you get that figure from?
By bb (905), Hampton Bays on Sep 23, 10 10:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
What are you smoking?
By oldguy (60), hamptons on Sep 24, 10 2:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
I am somewhat involved in NYC rescue and this summer I was faced with the tough situation of re-homing a challenging dog that happened to physically be in the Hamptons. Through friends of friends of friends, I was connected with Pat Lynch. Pat was INCREDIBLY helpful to me in this difficult situation, including networking on the dog's behalf, and connecting me with a reputable trainer who gave the dog a behavioral assessment free-of-charge. She went above-and-beyond to help me in the rescue and ...more
By LLF (1), ny on Sep 22, 10 11:18 PM
Look, this is how it works ... you're ALLOWED to openly criticize your local government. And you CANNOT be banned from a public building (or volunteering) for doing so (even if she was wrong - and I'm not saying she was). A court of law ruled in Pat's favor, upholding her civil rights.
Do you really think that the town can ban her now because she sued them in the past?
In any case .. that is a secondary argument ... as I stated before ... put the dogs first. They don't care who walks them ...more
By Sue Hansen (2), Rocky Point on Sep 23, 10 8:08 AM
All valid points- however city rescuer - she helped and then left. Didn't stick around to poison the atmosphere with her toxic personality. Ms. Hansen you are a lovely person and I get what you're saying - but Lynch negatively impacts everyone else around her. If she could be as pleasant to everyone as she is to a dog being walked, her help might be welcomed. No one wants to bear the brunt of the hostility that goes along with the constant threat of lawsuits.
I've said it before- but it bears ...more
By dogtired (29), north sea on Sep 23, 10 10:53 AM
She got paid for "emotional distress" in the documentation I read...
By Mr. Z (11491), North Sea on Sep 23, 10 6:20 PM
Riverhead Town is now looking for a private operator for their shelter. Maybe there's a solution here.
By VOS (1221), WHB on Sep 23, 10 10:34 PM
The fact remains, she cannot file suit against the shelter, and as the plaintiff, reasonably expect to continue in her volunteer position. Not only is expecting to do so unreasonable by due process, but she is the KEY witness for the plaintiff. She CANNOT be present at the shelter while lis pendens in existence. PERIOD.

Her dismissal was not unwarranted, nor unexpected to anyone but her. How could you NOT see that coming a mile away once the town was served, unless you are maybe a moron? ...more
By Mr. Z (11491), North Sea on Sep 23, 10 6:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
What if a female Town employee was wrongly passed up for promotion based on her gender or her race? By your logic, if she sued the Town and won, the Town would then be justified in firing her and barring her from getting another job with the Town (or with a Town-funded entity), solely based on her earlier suit. That's wrong.

People can hate on Pat Lynch all they want, but she's going to win this suit too and enjoy another taxpayer-funded payday.
By CoweeDewey (110), East Quogue on Sep 24, 10 9:43 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By CoweeDewey (110), East Quogue on Sep 24, 10 3:00 PM
There is a difference.

The gainfully employed individual you describe would be a "whistleblower", and protected under the law.

She was no whistleblower, she disagreed with the shelter euthanasia policy, which is a common, and widely accepted procedure.
By Mr. Z (11491), North Sea on Sep 24, 10 8:19 PM
You're not a whistleblower if you're suing to protect your own rights (as it the employee in my example) - a whistleblower exposes wrongdoing that affects others.

Lynch is a citizen with a right to free speech (as the court in the earlier suit recognized), and with a right to not be discriminated against at a town-funded entity (as this court will eventually find). If you want to avoid your tax dollars going into her and her attorney's pocket, either cut Town funding or let her volunteer.
By CoweeDewey (110), East Quogue on Sep 27, 10 2:12 PM
George above is a friend of Pat Lynch his name is George Simpson and is the very person that wrote a letter to the editor a week or 2 ago defending Ms. Lynch.

Sue Hansen was associated with RSVP and very likely another friend of Pat Lynch. Sue would have liked to have the opportunity to run the shelter. Any negative comments made by Sue Hansen about the shelter are just sour grapes on her part. Sue also wrote a letter to the editor for the Sept 30 edition.

George who's comments ...more
Sep 29, 10 7:52 PM appended by reg rep
Correction: Sue Hansen is/was a volunteer with RSVP she would have liked to see RSVP's bid accepted in running the shelter. See SH press article Oct 19, 2009. Also, if you read Ms. Lynch's letter to the editor this week (Sept 30) it is she who is making herself sound like a crazy person and distroying her good name. That's if she has a good name.
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Sep 29, 10 7:52 PM
If Pat Lynch really cared about the animals she is so eager to walk she would take the money shes wasting on her lawyers and donate to save these poor abandoned souls stuck in the shelter desperately waiting to be adopted. Maybe she should mull over that thought while she enjoys her Lobster Dinner this evening. Obviously the Southampton Animal Shelter cares deeply about the welfare and safety of their animals by denying Pat Lynch the right to walk a dog. Get out of town Pat Lynch .... We don't ...more
By pegee (14), Southampton on Apr 2, 12 12:07 PM
The Hampton Classic, Horse Show, Bridgehampton