“Erich, I Love You Dearly,” States Councilwoman Susan Berland

At last night’s Meet the Candidates Night hosted by the Half Hollow Hills PTA, a Question was asked by a citizen that described himself as being on the spectrum.

Erich Pries stated, “8 percent of our population has Autism. I have not heard anything about it. I am on the spectrum myself and I run a respectful charity. What career opportunities would you open up for people with developmental disabilities in the town of Huntington rather than refer them to Burger King.”

The reference made about Burger King was directed at Councilwoman Susan Berland.

Earlier this week, Erich Pries posted his story on social media.  This is what he wrote:

“When I was out of work and Susan was aware that I had Autism.  I asked Susan if there was a possible job for me in the Town of Huntington.  Susan said there is a job for people like you at Burger King.”

In the video clip, you can observe Erich Pries  moving away from Sandy Berland who according to eye witnesses was sitting very close to him.  Sandy is Susan’s husband and Campaign manager. As he moved across the room, Sandy Berland followed him.  You can hear Susan say “Sandy.”  It is unclear if she was encouraging him to follow Pries who was clearly getting agitated or she was discouraging him.

Susan attempts to defend her record and discusses how she “cares very much about the handicapped population”.  She also makes claims that Erich Pries was escorted out of town hall for “throwing a fit.”  Pries denies this claim.

Erich Pries contacted  The Huntingtonian and asked for a full interview so he can tell his version of what happened.  We will share his story with you in an upcoming article.

After witnessing the events Councilman Eugene Cook issued the following statement:



(A statement from Eugene Cook)

Shame on Susan Berland.

Last evening at the Half Hollow Hills Meet the Candidates night, we witnessed deplorable acts by the incumbent Councilwoman, Susan Berland, and her campaign manager and husband, Sanford Berland. Not only did the Councilwoman oppress a constituent’s freedom of speech, but her campaign manager proceeded to execute shameful intimidation techniques to deter the individual from speaking in the forum. I am appalled by and wholeheartedly condemn this repressive behavior.

America was built on the pretense that we may forever speak freely and petition the government for any and all grievances. Councilwoman Berland, you did just the opposite.

I will never ignore a constituents concerns, as a Councilman or fellow citizen. The Incumbent seems to neglect the fact that we have been duly elected by the people, for the people. I take pride in our freedom of speech, our democracy and our right to criticize the government as we see fit. I will never persecute or suppress my constituents as punishment for exercising their civil liberties.

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