Sag Harbor Village Named in Civil Rights Suit
A woman who said she was falsely arrested, unlawfully detained, and physically harassed by Sag Harbor Village Police has filed a federal lawsuit against the village, Sgt. Thomas Pagano, and her former husband, Stephen Vaccaro that seeks $4.35 million in damages.
Stephen M. Warshawsky, a New York attorney, filed the suit on behalf of Maura Lynch on August 13 in United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
The suit claims that Ms. Lynch’s civil rights were violated when village police would not allow her to enter her home at 24 Ninevah Place last August.
According to the claim, Ms. Lynch charges that Sgt. Pagano stopped her at the home and would not let her enter it, even though she had been awarded custody of it in her divorce settlement. Although the officer had a court order indicating that Ms. Lynch was not allowed in the home, her attorney states that order had been issued the year before and was no longer valid because Ms. Lynch had met the conditions outlined in it.
The suit further claims that Sgt. Pagano and another, unnamed officer, physically restrained Ms. Lynch when she tried to enter the house, causing her to have a panic attack.
The suit claims that in attempting to mediate the dispute, Sgt. Pagano relied on the statements of Mr. Vaccaro and his attorney while ignoring Ms. Lynch’s rights.
The claim states that Sgt. Pagano again harassed Ms. Lynch at a residence at her former husband’s house at 26 Dartmouth Road on August 15 and that Sgt. Pagano and other members of the police department prevented her from gaining access to her residence again on August 16.
In the meantime, the suit charges, she was forced to sleep in her car and was not allowed back in her home until August 22.
The suit states that Ms. Lynch suffered emotional and bodily injuries, emotional distress and loss of income and a damaged reputation.
Village officials would not comment on the suit.