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Heyman, Husband Not Charged with Larceny

by Matthew Call

March 2, 2000

After a final appeal hearing, School Committee member Susan Heyman and her husband, Ken, will not be charged with larceny of campaign signs.

The Heymans were reportedly seen taking a sign belonging to Brenda Loew from in front of the Day School Middle School on Oct. 30. Brenda Loew ran unsuccessfully against Susan Heyman for a Ward 5 School Committee seat in November.

After Loew filed a complaint request against the Heymans, a judge ruled in November that there was not sufficient evidence to charge them with larceny. Loew had appealed that decision.

Newton Corner resident Lise Rubin testified Friday, Feb. 25 that she saw Ken Heyman uproot a Brenda Loew sign in front of the school on Minot Place and put it in his car. Susan Heyman, who was riding in the car, then drove with her husband to the Newton Police station on Washington Street, with Rubin following them, honking her horn, Rubin said.

Susan Heyman and Rubin started arguing before police came out of the station to see what was going on, according to Newton Police Officer Kenneth Marino. About a dozen Brenda Loew signs were found in the Heymans' car, Marino said. No one was arrested as a result of the incident.

A request to close the hearing to the public was made by Susan Heyman's lawyer, Lawrence Oakstein, but was denied by Newton District Court Associate Justice Thomas Brennan.

Oakstein presented evidence that Rubin tried to have Susan Heyman removed from the School Committee both before and after the Oct. 30 incident. Rubin admitted that she filed a motion to remove Heyman, but that was not the reason why she testified against her.

"I certainly had no attempt to do those things today," Rubin said.

Oakstein also said that Rubin had talked to Aldermen Amy Mah Sangiolo about supposedly stolen Brenda Loew signs before the incident.

Susan Heyman, along with her husband, did not testify in the hearing, but she has previously said that the signs were posted on public property, in violation of a Newton city ordinance.

"I am tremendously relieved that the legal piece is not hanging over me anymore," said Susan Heyman, who is her last term as a member of the committee. "I am looking forward to focusing on my work as a member of the School Committee.

Brennan ruled that the Heymans did not commit a larceny because no evidence was produced that they attempted to permanently take away the signs.

"All I have is a person who sees a van going to the police station," Brennan said. "Oh what basis do I make a judgment [the signs] were stolen at all? There's no evidence they were caught stealing anything."

The evidence was more inclined to charges of receiving stolen property, but the fact-finding hearing was for a charge of larceny, Brennan said.

The first appeal hearing was scheduled for December, but Newton Court Magistrate Henry Shultz recused himself when he said he was friends with Oakstein. In January, Judge Steven Ostrach took himself off the case when he said he received his first job from Alan Posner, the attorney representing Ken Heyman.

A visibly angry Loew shouted at Susan Heyman after the trial.

"This isn't over Susan, I'm going to take down all of your signs, this is personal" Loew said before she was escorted out of the courtroom by her lawyer Elliot Loew, her brother. The Heymans were allowed to use a back door out of the courthouse.

Later, Loew called the hearing "disappointing," and said she would seek complaints herself outside of the Newton District Court.

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