A contentious campaign has led to change in the Village of Old Field.
Attorney Ted Rosenberg won a run-off election against incumbent Ron LaVita for village justice April 3. Rosenberg defeated LaVita 189 to 146, according to village court clerk Marianne Feller. Out of the 335 votes, 65 were absentee ballots — 39 for Rosenberg and 26 for LaVita.
LaVita has held the unpaid position for 20 years, and in previous elections ran unchallenged. The run-off was held after the two candidates tied 114 each in the March 20 general election.
Rosenberg said he’s glad the campaign is over and is looking forward to serving the village for the next four years.
“[Residents] can expect me to impartially adjudicate cases and treat everyone fairly, treat everyone the same,” Rosenberg said.
Despite their differences during the campaign, he said he respects LaVita.
“My opponent campaigned very hard, very tenaciously, and I admire that,” he said.
LaVita said he was disappointed with the results.
“I am also disappointed in, and do not think I deserve, what in my opinion were the scurrilous attacks and rhetoric made against me,” LaVita said. “This is not Washington politics, and the ends do not always justify the means.”
During the campaign for village justice, allegations were hurled by both candidates. Rosenberg alleged during his campaign that LaVita did not have a certificate of occupancy for his home since making renovations 15 years ago. In spring 2017, LaVita said he paid the requested permit fees in anticipation of obtaining a CO. In July of that year, he was granted an extension, which expires in July 2018.
Among allegations made by LaVita, he said Rosenberg, who served as village associate justice, represented an accident client who sued the Village of Old Field and the constable. Rosenberg confirmed he represented a client against Old Field and said he checked with the mayor first, who said there was no conflict of interest created for taking on the case.
Despite the loss, LaVita said he’s grateful for the time he served as village justice.
“I want to thank all my friends and supporters in the village for allowing me to proudly serve them for the past 20 years and for supporting me throughout a very hard-fought election,” LaVita said.