Cyril Opts Out of Town Deal

Property owners agree to limit patrons
As part of a settlement that owners of the Cyril’s property agreed to with the Town of East Hampton, the roadside bar at the popular Napeague spot is to be removed. David E. Rattray

While potential jurors were waiting in the halls of East Hampton Town Justice Court Tuesday morning, the town attorney’s office reached a deal with most of the co-defendants in the town’s criminal case against Clan-Fitz, et al., better known as Cyril’s Fish House. However, while the Napeague property owners named in the criminal charges settled, Cyril Fitzsimons, the owner of Clan-Fitz, did not, and jury selection went on throughout the day, until six jurors and two alternates were chosen.

Represented by Christopher Kelley of Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin & Quartaro, the property owners, Debra Dioguardi Lakind, Michael Dioguardi, and Robert Dioguardi, agreed to all the changes to the property negotiated with the town. In return, their case was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal. “The pathway has been laid out, now we just need to do the work to implement it,” Mr. Kelley said afterward, outside the courthouse. “We worked with the town to achieve a settlement with respect to the owners in making improvements to the property to bring it into compliance, and get an updated site plan.” That new site plan was presented to the town’s planning board April 27, where it was warmly accepted.

According to Mr. Kelley, the work, which includes removing the roadside bar and brick patio, as well as the awning and deck on the west side of the property, and reducing total seating capacity to 62, will be done in two phases. The first phase, to be completed by May 26, the Thursday before Memorial Day, includes almost all the changes to the actual building agreed to in a stipulation between the owners and the town. The second phase, which includes parking and needed fencing, calls on the owners to go before the town’s zoning board of appeals to obtain various permits required to build near wetlands, as well as some variances from the town’s zoning code.

The Dioguardi family also agreed to pay a $60,000 fine.

Neither Joseph Prokop, special counsel to the town, who is a prosecutor on the case, nor Michael Sendlenski, who heads the town attorney’s office, would comment on the settlement and why Mr. Fitzsimons was not included. “I don’t know how he is going to deal with his issues,” said Mr. Kelley about Mr. Fitzsimons. “He chose not to join with us in this application,” he said.

Mr. Fitzsimons is being represented in court by John T. Powers Jr. Mr. Powers did not comment outside the courtroom Tuesday. At one point, he asked a panel of 10 prospective jurors, “Is there anyone who is not aware in any way of Cyril’s?” None of the 10 held up their hands.

Mr. Fitzsimons’s company, Clan-Fitz, was facing more than 60 charges relating to zoning code violations, such as building a structure without a permit and not having proper certificates of occupancy, at the beginning of the day. Some of the charges are duplicative and may be dropped. Many are classified as misdemeanors, which are considered crimes. A conviction of even one misdemeanor could jeopardize the roadside bar’s liquor license, which is in the name of Clan-Fitz. Each misdemeanor, upon conviction, could result in a fine of $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to six months, though jail sentences in such cases are unusual.

None of the defendants were present on Tuesday. The trial, which was scheduled to resume yesterday, is expected to last until at least this afternoon. The witness list for the town include Thomas Preiato, the former chief building inspector, Ann Glennon, the town’s current head building inspector, and several other town employees.

The agreement between the owners and the town will also resolve an open civil lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court.

Christopher Kelley is representing the Cyril’s property owners. Cyril Fitzsimons has his own attorney. T.E. McMorrow
David E. Rattray