The elected Superintendent of Highways for the Town of Smithtown was arrested Wednesday for allegedly covering up that a paving project he ordered had violated New York State regulations, authorities said.
Glenn Jorgensen pleaded not guilty at Suffolk County court to felony charges of tampering with public records, falsisying business records and offering a false instrument for filing as well as a misdemeanor count of official misconduct.
Prosecutors said the 63-year-old St. James man allegedly ordered road construction reports be altered to conceal his approval of paving of at least eight Smithtown streets in freezing temperatures in November, then directed a highway foreman to alter the records to misrepresent the weather conditions during the repaving work. The contractor was identified as Selden-based Suffolk Asphalt Corporation.
“State Department of Transportation construction standards dictate asphalt must not be applied to a road surface in freezing temperatures, and in fact, the town’s own engineer has said repaving in freezing weather would result in the asphalt falling apart,” Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said. “The repaving of a residential street doesn’t happen that often and when it does, residents are paying for a job done correctly, not a faulty repaving that will soon need pothole repair work.”
Jorgensen allegedly stole the work order for the improper repaving and took the official documents home, where investigators found the records in his bedroom, under his bed, in his house on Hope Place, authorities said.
Jorgensen’s Hauppauge-based attorney, Anthony La Pinta, maintained his client’s innocence.
Jorgensen, who worked for the Smithtown highway department for 37 years, was elected in 2009 to lead a staff of 140 employees tasked with snow removal as well as paving, drainage and other maintenance of more than 450 miles of roads and curbs in the town. The department has a $30 million annual budget. He was re-elected two years ago.