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First National of New York may lay off 36

First National Bank of New York has notified the state that it will lay off as many as 36 people in its Melville headquarters early next year when the bank is acquired by Bridge Bancorp and the office closes.

The mandatory filing with the state Department of Labor said the layoffs will be effective Feb. 14.

But one of the 36, John Stewart, chief executive of First National, said Bridge is working to find jobs internally for as many of the workers as possible and that a layoff of 36 was a "worst-case scenario."

First National's branch in Melville is to remain open, as will branches in Merrick and Massapequa.

Bridge, the parent of Bridgehampton National Bank, has 23 branches, all in Suffolk County. In September, Bridge announced it would pay about $5.3 million to acquire privately held First National. It said the deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year. Hofstra, SCCC to share grant

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