Spin Cycle

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Suffolk term-limit proponent files appeal against court ruling

Suffolk resident Peter Nichols has filed court papers with the Appellate Division in Brooklyn for the right to appeal the Supreme Court decision that will allow Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota to seek a fourth term.

Nichols' attorney, Bruce Plesser of Gulfport, Fla., obtained a show cause order about a week ago and is in the process of serving papers on various parties. What Plesser is trying to overturn is not only the term-limit law, but Justice Ralph Gazzillo's ruling, which found that Nichols did not have standing to intervene in the suit.

“I’d be surprised if the Appellate Division allows Ralph Gazzillo make the final determination on this case,” he said.

The renewed legal action comes as Suffolk Republicans have scheduled a screening of district attorney candidates Monday at party headquarters. Spota, a Democrat who received cross-endorsement four year ago, and Republicans William Ferris and Ray Perini are expected to undergo interviews with GOP leaders.

Suffolk Legis. Rick Montano (D-Brentwood), meanwhile, said he will seek a vote on a procedural motion at Monday's county legislature meeting directing special counsel Stuart Besen to appeal Justice Gazillo’s original ruling.

In his decision, Gazzillo said the county's 12-year term-limit law did not apply to Spota, the county clerk and the sheriff because their offices are in the state constitution.

Plesser said there is a political conspiracy to prevent an appeal and behind-the-scenes stirring to repeal term limits for all county officials, and his client is “carrying the flag for the 70 percent of voters who voted for term limits.”

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