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Jun 23, 2010 12:31 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Police: Westhampton Beach Village Trustee Joan Levan trespassed on former candidate's property

Jun 23, 2010 12:31 PM

A Westhampton Beach Village Board member was accused of trespassing on a former village trustee candidate’s property last week, just two days before Friday’s election, and questioning his 12-year-old daughter about who lives at the residence.

According to a Westhampton Beach Police Department incident report, Village Trustee Joan Levan is accused of walking onto Stephen Arrasate’s Beach Road property at around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 16, opening a latched gate that leads to the pool area, and sitting down next to his daughter at a picnic table. Ms. Levan then asked the girl who lives at the home, if Mr. Arrasate’s ex-wife lived there, and “what other Arrasates live around here,” according to the report.

Mr. Arrasate—who ran against Ms. Levan and three other candidates for a seat on the Village Board last year and lost—said his daughter told him that Ms. Levan left after asking the questions. No criminal charges were filed.

When reached Friday morning, Ms. Levan said, “I have no comment.”

But on Tuesday, Ms. Levan said she told Westhampton Beach Village Police Chief Ray Dean that she did not trespass. In fact, she said she was home at that time on June 16 with two friends, Freear Pollard Barnwell and June Sellin.

“It was not me,” Ms. Levan said.

Ms. Levan said she waited until Tuesday to tell her side of the story based on the advice of her lawyer, whom she declined to identify.

That story did not sit well with Mr. Arrasate.

“I find it interesting that it takes her five days to comment,” he said when reached Tuesday.

Chief Ray Dean, who originally declined to comment on the incident, said Wednesday that Ms. Levan did reach out to him to say she did not visit Mr. Arrasate’s home. But she never told him that she was home with two friends at the time of the incident. “She never conveyed that to me,” Chief Dean said.

Ms. Sellin, who lives in Westhampton, said it was “absolutely true” that Ms. Levan was at her Westhampton Beach home at the time. She said they were sorting envelopes in preparation for last Friday’s village election.

“Clearly, somebody must look like her,” added Ms. Barnwell, who lives in Remsenburg. “And a 12-year-old child will not really know.”

The police report notes that Mr. Arrasate’s daughter did not know who Ms. Levan was at the time; she described the trespasser as an “elderly female with blond and gray hair wearing glasses, a green shirt and white pants,” according to the report.

But Mr. Arrasate’s father, James Arrasate, who lives next door, told police he saw Ms. Levan on his son’s property, according to the report. The elder Mr. Arrasate also told police that Ms. Levan came to his residence and knocked on his door twice before leaving.

The younger Mr. Arrasate said he is not pressing charges, but he did file an incident report the following day. He said Friday that he was “pretty ticked off” that a person—let alone a village trustee—would walk onto someone’s property and question a minor. He said he filed the police report to let the person who trespassed know that he felt that what she did was wrong. “It’s wrong to question a 12-year-old,” he said.

Mr. Arrasate said he did not know why Ms. Levan might have trespassed on his property, but he guessed that she was trying to ascertain who was living there so she could figure out how many people could legally vote in the election on Friday.

Ms. Levan’s running mate last year, Westhampton Beach Village Trustee Hank Tucker, lost his bid to unseat incumbent Mayor Conrad Teller on Friday. Mr. Tucker still has one more year remaining on his trustee term. Both he and Ms. Levan are up for reelection next June.

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Mr. Arrasate SHOULD press charges - this was a totally unacceptable thing to have done, and she should not be allowed to get away with it.
By Alterius (19), Westhampton Beach on Jun 18, 10 4:15 PM
2 members liked this comment
Mr. Arrasate should absolutely press charges, and Joan Levan should be removed from village office immediately. Her actions were illegal, unethical, and despicable.

She is a disgrace to the human race.
By Pedro Salazar (22), Center Moriches on Jun 18, 10 4:30 PM
2 members liked this comment
"Her actions were illegal, unethical, and despicable."

But in Westhampton Beach, that doesn't seem to be cause for removal from office.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Jun 18, 10 4:55 PM
4 members liked this comment
By Pedro Salazar (22), Center Moriches on Jun 18, 10 5:09 PM
That was a creepy thing for her to do! She must feel like a fool now that It is in the paper....lol
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Jun 18, 10 7:04 PM
this woman once again caught doing an illegal act,and after being questioned by the chief,she lied,and now says she has no comment!!!!!!! no matter the results of the election,the residents should demand her removal from the board!!!perhaps a petition is in order......she seems to feel she is above the law,her previous and this action speaks volumes of her character.....shame on her!!!
By curious (77), westhampton beach on Jun 18, 10 7:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
A little too much LSD at Berkeley back in the day?

What person in their right mind would even attempt something like this?

Re-election in the future? DOUBTFUL...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jun 18, 10 8:11 PM
You Just can not make this suff up.
Another Board member that is a JOKE
Time for her to GO
By sjd (420), Westhampton Beach on Jun 18, 10 9:34 PM
Joan time for you to crawl under a rock with your buddy Jim the Gun
By sjd (420), Westhampton Beach on Jun 18, 10 9:47 PM



By Pedro Salazar (22), Center Moriches on Jun 18, 10 9:49 PM
2 members liked this comment
Hey Pedro...you don't even know these men, nor do you know all of the facts. When the facts come out, then appropriate actions will be taken. In the meanwhile, why besmirch the names of good men that you don't even know?
By cush870 (31), Westhampton Beach on Jun 22, 10 9:18 AM
1 member liked this comment
You go cush870!
By southern4eva (7), Raleigh on Jun 23, 10 12:01 PM
what goes aroun
By curious (77), westhampton beach on Jun 18, 10 10:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
Joan can not resign soon enough. She's the laughing stock on Main Street tonight.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Jun 18, 10 10:25 PM
I guess it's a good thing she didn't go into Kametler's yard, shoot first ask questions later. Who did she expect to live there? And she doesn't deny being there. C'mon people this is totally sick and twisted.
By sandy48 (1), east Quogue on Jun 19, 10 8:34 AM
1 member liked this comment
It seems that Joan Levan was worried about the outcome of the election.

It also seems that she was correct in her assessment, but with a 12 vote loss of her candidate, who knows if news of her unconscionable actions two days before the election might have been the deciding factor.

By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Jun 19, 10 10:31 AM

why are there many looney and wacko characters in the Westhampton Board?
Have they examined the water?
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Jun 20, 10 12:37 AM
Well it is after all a representative democracy so.......
By Hambone (514), New York on Jun 22, 10 10:21 AM
Hey Joan,remember when you set up the chief and had him on the front page of n newsday,and more recently on gthe cover of the independent??????How do like being front page news,the differance is the chief didn't break any laws or harrass a child....the only thing he did was make the same salary,and in some cases less, than all the other chiefs on the east end!!!!!!!! I Oh,and he didn't lie when questioned........
By curious (77), westhampton beach on Jun 20, 10 12:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
We villagers, like the lowly possum, dodged a bullet.
I've no doubt Ms.Levan and Tucker may try to cook the books and demand a recount.
May they be proven wrong; as wrong they were in lying about Mayor Teller's intentions, in an attempt to sway the vote and seize the village.
I for one am tired of their shenanigans.
I hope one of the Arrasates DOES make life a little more difficult for this woman who sees herself as above the law.
C'mon guys.

By Jean (79), whb on Jun 20, 10 1:53 PM
If that was my house she would be in jail....
By DJ9222 (85), southampton on Jun 20, 10 5:33 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Hambone (514), New York on Jun 22, 10 10:17 AM
Trespass to land is a common law tort that is committed when an individual or the object of an individual intentionally enters the land of another without a lawful excuse. Trespass to land is actionable per se. Thus, the party whose land is entered upon may sue even if no actual harm is done. In some jurisdictions, this rule may also apply to entry upon public land having restricted access. A court may order payment of damages or an injunction to remedy the tort.
By Steven (113), Westhampton on Jun 21, 10 4:44 PM
Tisk, tisk tisk. What a shame. Unfortunetly there are a lot of fools living in WHB. She'll probably get re-elected and we'll all be asking ourselves, how did that happen? Stupid is as stupid does...
By hamptoniteforlife (15), WHB on Jun 22, 10 9:34 AM
Judging from the comments listed above I'd say Hangin' is too good for her. Crikey, where is Atticus Finch to bring some sanity back to our society?
By Hambone (514), New York on Jun 22, 10 10:18 AM
I bet the Arrasates don't have a latching gate and their are in clear violation of building codes. That being said, I bet this is a smokescreen to prevent a visit by some guy with lots of keys on one ring and a flashlight that holds 8 "D" batteries in a row.
By Hambone (514), New York on Jun 22, 10 10:24 AM
"Village Trustee Joan Levan allegedly ... opened a latched gate that leads to the pool area."

I think the Beach Blogger may be right about you.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Jun 22, 10 1:52 PM
4 members liked this comment
Dude...it's sarcasm.

Think about it...the only reason that level of detail is in there is to publicly make the case it was trespassing. I don't give a hoot about Joan Levan but did anyone ever think that this story is a bit...contrived?

If you read these comments one would think burning at the stake would be proper.

As for the Beach Blogger he is well versed and a good read. His downside is unless your one of the sycophants (see Wheeler, Frank and many others) you are ...more
By Hambone (514), New York on Jun 23, 10 11:11 PM
I KNOW that house.
One has to walk down a curved driveway, to a straight driveway, pass a 2 car garage, and, yes, open a very functional LATCHED gate to get in.
Do I believe Levan's alibi? Bwahaha! Who else would be crazed enough to DO this?
She was SEEN by Grandpa Arrasate next door, and by the VERY inappropriately challenged twelve year old, who should be QUITE capable of picking her out of a lineup, BEFORE she goes to Brunettis.

This awful behavior has to be challenged ...more
By Jean (79), whb on Jun 22, 10 8:45 PM
2 members liked this comment
Indeed, what means the shameless pursuit of influence and power create...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jun 23, 10 1:55 AM
This used to be a great town. Things that are happening now and in the past is making WHB look like it is run by clowns. What a sad thing to see.
Come on people lets get it together and set a good example for our children!
By southern4eva (7), Raleigh on Jun 23, 10 12:02 PM
Joan Levin is a personable, sincere woman with a lot on her personal plate. If her two friends, notably Frear P. Barnwell, an honest woman, vouched for Joan, that's solid testimony. The recent mayoral/trustee election has doubtless resulted in frustrated feelings for backers of the Tucker slate, including Ms. Levin. I mean, a 12-vote plurality? That's close! Then I learned that 40+ voters who'd committed to the Tucker ticked didn't make it to the polls last Friday. If that's the case, the village ...more
By colonelshousealum (11), westhampton beach on Jun 24, 10 11:31 AM
Oh, please!

Joan Levan is a pathetic woman, and the fact that she trespassed onto someone's property and harrassed a little girl--for political gain--is a testament to how much of a disgrace she really is.

Don't try to deny this occurrence. For God's sake she was IDed by the little girl herself, and was spotted by an eyewitness leaving the property. And her excuse is "I wasn't there" and, "she's just a 12 year old girl, what would she know." She was caught with her pants down. ...more
By Pedro Salazar (22), Center Moriches on Jun 24, 10 1:06 PM
Wow, you are seriously out of the loop, aren't you?

1) "40+ voters committed to Tucker and didn't make it to the polls" - how is that even relevant???? Maybe 80+ voters committed to the Teller line but got distracted too . . . should we hold another election?!

2) If you think that Joan Levan is "a personable, sincere woman," you've obviously never met the woman . . . which would explain your misspelling of her surname. If you had described her as "a manipulative egomaniac," ...more
By barnbabe (64), westhampton beach on Jun 24, 10 1:23 PM
3 members liked this comment
Shame on you, Mrs. Levan. Are you so deperate?
By Dodger (161), Southampton Village on Jun 24, 10 4:27 PM
Don't see Mrs. Levan short. She has a bevy of supporters who always believe what she says. She is indeed a hard-working community activist and fund raiser. So don't take any bets that she won't win her next election. The more she gets upbraided in blogs like this the more her friends will come to her side to support her. She is probably planning next year's campaign already. And if the Village Unity Party expects to defeat her, they had better get moving on it now.
By Fabiola (11), Southampton on Jun 25, 10 3:14 PM
1 member liked this comment