Suffolk lawmaker's hire raises an intra-party eyebrow

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Al Krupski may be the Democrats' newest lawmaker, but he raised eyebrows in his own party — naming the daughter of one-time Riverhead Republican Town supervisor Jim Stark as a $81,000 a year legislative aide.

Krupski of Cutchogue hired Catherine Stark, 49, a 17 year county veteran who had previusly been working for Legis. Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk). Stark’s name had also been mentioned as a potential contender for the Assembly seat vacated by Brookhaven’s new highway superintedent Dan Losquadro.

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Sources say that Marge Avecedo, Riverhead Democratic leader and an aide in Presiding Officer William Lindsay’s office, privately criticized the hiring but Suffolk Democratic chairman Richard Schaffer did nothing to block the hiring.

As an aide to Schneiderman, insider say Stark was helpful to Krupski in the transition. It was also a time when Schneiderman was considering a new race for East Hampton Supervisor, a bid he has since dropped. Schneiderman can only run for one more term under the county term limit law. A Riverhead resident, Stark said her commute has been shortened “from 50 minutes to two.”

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