The Greenburgh Town Board is scheduled to vote on Wednesday on a resolution to hire a lawyer at $325 an hour to represent the Ethics Board. I plan to vote no.
The attorney the Board members want to hire has a resume that does not concentrate on ethics. His web site does not even mention ethics as an area he or his firm is involved in.
The attorney is a brilliant defense lawyer who has represented, among others, the following individuals:
El Sayyid Nosair, a criminal defendant who was involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Nosair was convicted as part of the trial of the Blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and received life plus 15 years for the World Trade Center bombing conspiracy.
Anthony Pirro (brother of Al)
Robert Chambers (the preppy murderer)
I do not understand what relevancy a criminal defense lawyer has to an Ethics Board. Why hire an attorney who does not specialize in ethics?
I believe that the work should be handled in house – by the members of the Board. If there are extraordinary circumstances the Board should consult the Town Board on a case by case basis. There are other lawyers who specialize in ethics who might charge less and have the qualifications needed. The Ethics Board members advised the Board they may need an investigator. If that is the case, can’t we hire a non lawyer at reduced rates? We have many qualified citizens who are willing to donate their time to the town. Other volunteer boards have not retained outside counsel to help them.
We have a very difficult budget coming up (residents will start paying for the library expansion this year, the fund balance was cut by the Town Board last year). Discretionary spending by the Town Board must be reviewed carefully. This is another example of the Board’s increase in discretionary spending that will negatively impact the tax rate.
BOARD MEETING: THIS WEDNESDAY
GREENBURGH TOWN HALL
Greenburgh Town Supervisor