Deputy town attorney William Duffy has been hired as town attorney by Southold Town and is scheduled to start in his new post in two weeks.

Duffy was hired by Riverhead in January 2011. A graduate of Hofstra Law School and Stony Brook University, Duffy is an ex-Marine and former Suffolk County assistant district attorney. He was admitted to the N.Y. bar in 2002.

Riverhead hired Duffy on the heels of former town attorney Dawn Thomas’ departure at the same time it hired Robert Kozakiewicz to replace Thomas in the top spot. Town board members at that time consolidated two part-time deputy positions into one full-time deputy, hiring Duffy for that full-time slot.

Supervisor Sean Walter said this morning the town board will likely leave Duffy’s position vacant “for a while” in light of the town’s present fiscal constraints.

“We will reassign the work to the remaining staff attorneys,” Walter said.  The town attorney’s office is currently staffed with four full-time lawyers, Kozakiewicz, chief deputy town attorney Annemarie Prudenti, Daniel McCormick, Duffy, and longtime paralegal Laura Calamita.

Some projects may have to be put on the back burner, he said.  “We will have to sit down as a town board and figure out what do they really have to do and what can be put off,” Walter said, “then evaluate it again in another couple of months.”

Among Duffy’s duties in the town attorney’s office are prosecution of town code violations and serving as counsel to the planning board.

“We will need to shed another $850,000 in in salaries in 2016,” Walter said today.

The Southold town attorney position has been vacant for nearly a month since the resignation of Martin Finnegan, who returned to private practice after more than five years heading up the town’s legal department, which is staffed by one full-time assistant town attorney and a part-time assistant town attorney.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.