Stolen sign fuels natural gas tensions

NEW BERLIN – A stolen pro-gas drilling sign fanned the flames of controversy as the case came to the Town of New Berlin court Tuesday afternoon,

At the court appearance, Diana Teta, a 66-year-old clinical psychologist who resides in Patchogue, Long Island and in Morris returned a stolen pro-gas drilling sign taken from the lawn of Norwich Calvary Baptist Minister and President of the Central New York Landowners Coalition, Rev. Brian Conover.

First Assistant District Attorney Stephen Dunshee said Teta returned the stolen sign and the case was dismissed outright by prosecutors.

New Berlin Police officer-in-charge Dominick Commesso said the incident took place at about 2:30 p.m. Sept. 3 when Teta stopped her vehicle near Conover’s property at 5552 State Route 23 in the Town New Berlin.

According to witness William Kuhn, a neighbor and coalition member, Teta took the sign from Conover’s lawn and drove off.

Commesso said Kuhn then got in his vehicle and followed Teta’s car for several miles to South New Berlin, where he recorded her license plate number.

Kuhn later turned the information over to Conover, who called the police.

New Berlin Sergeant Robert Jones said he became aware of the crime at about 9 p.m. that same day and called Teta at her home in Long Island.

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