Carmel Councilman Michael Barile was arrested Tuesday by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department for theft of services in connection with illegally hooking up a Mahopac restaurant he owns to a town sewer district.
Barile, 67, turned himself in at police headquarters and was charged with the Class A misdemeanor, which, if convicted, could carry a maximum sentence of one year in jail. He was released on his own recognizance and issued an appearance ticket in Carmel Town Court for January 25 at 6 p.m.
Putnam Sheriff’s Department Civil Division Captain Lisa Ortolano said the charges were brought following a one-year joint investigation by the Sheriff’s Department and Putnam County District Attorney Robert Tendy.
According to the criminal complaint, Barile, on November 8, 1991 and April 6, 2020, “attempted to avoid payment” by using the Carmel sewer system for Blu at The Lakehouse Restaurant and Bar at 825 South Lake Boulevard in Mahopac even though the business is located outside the sewer district.
Barile and his longtime business partner Thomas Boniello, who died May 27, 2020, were first cited by the town engineer on October 24, 2019 for illegally using the Carmel sewer system.
They were issued a second violation and an order to cease and desist on December 18, 2019 after it was discovered they had connected to an undisclosed and unapproved location within the sewer main.
In March, Barile and Boniello reconfigured the line under the observation of the town engineer.
On December 15, 2020, Supervisor Kenneth Schmitt and councilpersons Robert Schanil, Frank Lombardi, and Suzanne McDonough all voted to slap Barile with a $105,000 civil fine for the violations. Boniello’s estate was also included in the resolution.
Barile, a 45-year resident of Carmel, abstained from the vote but later addressed the issue near the end of the meeting.
He said he agreed to “compromise” to avoid the town spending an additional $50,000 to $100,000 in legal fees and “put my family and Tommy’s family at ease.”
“But certain facts are facts,” he remarked, noting neither the DEP, state Department of Environmental
Conservation nor the state Department of Transportation levied any fines. The Putnam Department of Health levied a $350 fine.
Barile also revealed he visited Schmitt at the supervisor’s home on August 22 to find out what he had to do “to end this nightmare.” Barile said he offered to donate $25,000 apiece to the St. John’s and St. James’ food pantries, but maintained Schmitt told him he had to pay a fine.
He added after a few months of silence he learned there was a sheriff’s investigation for theft of services.
“I agreed on settling. At least the taxpayers get something back,” Barile said. “I truly believe some members of this board and past boards have selectively prosecuted me based on personal animosity. You guys can be the judge. You are smart people in this town.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Schmitt’s office said the supervisor had no comment on Barile’s arrest.
The Carmel Town Board held a reorganization meeting Wednesday night. Barile was in attendance and no mention was made during the more than one hour session of his arrest the day before.
As part of board assignments for 2021, Barile was named a liaison to the Carmel Police Department.
Last year, Barile pled guilty to disorderly conduct, a violation, after getting into a spat with a Journal News columnist in September 2019 and throwing his cell phone out the door of the meeting room into the parking lot.