Rick Brand Portrait of Newsday reporter Rick Brand taken on

Rick Brand is a longtime Newsday reporter who writes about politics and government on Long Island.

Paul Sabatino, a former chief deputy Suffolk County executive and longtime former counsel to the county legislature, has returned to government, at least on a part-time basis.

Sabatino was hired earlier this month as counsel to the Smithtown planning board. Sabatino will advise the board at their twice-monthly meetings and make $7,500 annually.

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Sabatino was one of the attorneys who recently represented the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, which won a state Supreme Court decision barring farmers from building barns and farm stands on land to which they sold development rights to the county.

Michael Kaufman, a Suffolk County planning commissioner from Smithtown, called Sabatino an “excellent choice. He’s experienced, knowledgeable and fair.”