Two top Suffolk elected officials whose departments County Executive Steve Bellone wants to merge are looking to outside lawyers to determine the impact of their agencies on taxpayers.

Comptroller Joseph Sawicki has hired Paul Sabatino, former chief deputy county executive and longtime legislative counsel, as well as Anton Borovina to review Bellone's legislation.

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Treasurer Angie Carpenter, who is virtually assured re-election but would have no post in January if the measure wins voter approval, has requested County Attorney Dennis Brown authorize her to retain counsel. Bellone, saying the merger would save $1 million annually, seeks a legislative vote July 30 to authorize a November referendum.

-- Rick Brand