Town Board mulling raise for position that hasn’t been filled

The newly created position of Southold Town Justice Court Director could get a bump in salary before the job is ever filled.

The Town Board is expected to vote on a resolution to increase the base salary of the civil service job from $63,000 to $80,000 in hopes that the higher wage will generate more interest among the most qualified candidates, Town Supervisor Scott Russell said Monday.

“We are required to re-establish the position when we post a higher salary,” he said.

The board voted unanimously in April to create the position of Justice Court Director in order to “keep all their options on the table,” after former Southold Town senior court clerk Christine Stulsky resigned amid an investigation into the theft of money from the court.

Should the board approve the salary hike on Tuesday, the position’s civil service salary scale would be set at about $83,000 and increase to more than $94,000 in five years. The previous salary was approved at about $63,000 and would have increased to nearly $74,000 in five years.

Mr. Russell said Monday that the Town Board has no immediate plans to fill the position, but board members are currently reviewing applications.

The Justice Court Director would be responsible for collecting, depositing and recording all justice court fines, fees and bail payments, the supervisor has said. The person would also oversee the maintenance of court records, prepare monthly reports to the state comptroller and assist the town justices in helping the town supervisor prepare his proposed annual budget.

In March, the Town Board accepted the resignation of Ms. Stulsky, who according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office is suspected of stealing “a substantial amount of money” while serving as the senior justice court clerk.

Ms. Stulsky’s duties have since been taken over by other employees of the Justice Court and a full audit of the Justice Court is now under way.