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Town looks to utilize existing staff in town attorney’s office

Stephen Kiely

An analysis of staff responsibilities in the Southold Town Attorney’s office is underway as the town examines how to replace former assistant town attorney Lori Hulse.

Supervisor Scott Russell said the Town Board is looking at its options now that Ms. Hulse has left to serve as a Town Justice in Riverhead.

“Lori had a lot of different functions and right now we’re going through an analysis with the town attorney to determine what functions could be absorbed with the existing staff of two and a very capable legal secretary,” he said, referring to town attorney Bill Duffy, assistant town attorney Stephen Kiely and secretary to the town attorney Mary Silleck.

“After we cull that list down, we’ll determine what our needs are,” Mr. Russell said. “It’s likely that we’re going to hire someone, but probably not to the scale of the previous assistant town attorney.”

During Tuesday’s meeting, the Town Board unanimously approved a nearly $5,000 salary increase totaling $109,100 for Mr. Kiely. His salary was $104,040, according to town documents.

Mr. Russell said it isn’t uncommon for new employees to receive salary increases based on their performances.

Mr. Kiely was hired in May 2014 with a starting salary of $95,000.

“We brought that salary down and scaled it back a little bit because we [the Town Board] said ‘He’s new and if he works out we’ll increase it,’” Mr. Russell said. “Well, he’s worked out.”

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Photo: Assistant town attorney Stephen Kiely at a Town Board meeting in November. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)