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Suffolk charter query: Does Lindsay Jr. take office now or later?

To seat or not to seat Bill Lindsay Jr. immediately -- that was the question.

County attorneys pondered the issue because the Democrat won his eighth district seat under newly reapportioned distict lines. Unsettled is whether Lindsay should take his seat at once because he would be finishing the term of his late father Presiding Officer William Lindsay, who last won under old district lines, where the voting population is about 10 percent different.

The county charter calls for special elections when the vacancy occurs more than 90 days before the general election but if it occurs less than 90 days before Election Day, candidates run in the general election and fill the seat immediately. However, the charter does not address what happens when the once-a-decade redrawing of district lines occurs.

George Nolan, legislative counsel, said the situation has never occurred locally and he and the county attorney Dennis Brown are still researching the issue. “It’s a fascinating legal issue and a difficult one,“ he said.

However, Legis. John Kennedy (R-Nesconeset), the minority leader, said he would “vehemently oppose” seating Lindsay immediately because he did not run under the old lines which remain in effect until the end of the year.

“There no disrerspect intended,” said Kennedy. “But there would be no validity in him casting a vote.”

Republican Anthony Palumbo also won a special election for state Assembly in the seat formerly held by Brookhaven highway Superintendent Daniel Losquadro. But a state elections spokesman said Palumbo will take office in January because Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not call a special election to fill the vacancy, which was his option.
 

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