The Suffolk Legislature's Ways and Means Committee voted last week to approve a $250,000 settlement of a lawsuit brought against the county by the niece of the late state and county Democratic chairman Dominic Baranello.

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Francine Baranello Lippman claimed in state Supreme Court last year that Democratic officials at the Suffolk Board of Elections illegally fired her from her job there as a clerk. She also said she faced a hostile work environment stemming from the fact that she has a rare autoimmune disease affecting the skin and mucous membrane. Lippman's lawyer didn't return calls.

-- Rick Brand