Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone's office has received a waiver from a three-member legislative panel to pay the Harris Beach law firm up to $150,000 for ongoing Suffolk Off-Track Betting Corp. bankruptcy proceedings.
County Attorney Dennis Brown wrote in a memo that Harris Beach had the most experience of three firms considered, but "the sum reserved for services has proved too low. The firm has used multiple partners . . . to secure financial concessions." Harris Beach is the county's bond counsel; partner Tom Garry serves as Suffolk Democrats' main elections lawyer. Legis. John M. Kennedy Jr. (R-Nesconset), the GOP minority leader, called the waiver an "outlandish, needless and foolish expenditure" for a "very routine, conventional process."-- Rick Brand