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Long IslandColumnistsRick Brand

Bellone administration hires lawyer to probe copy machine clash

The outside attorney will probe an incident in which a county lawmaker accused a legislative aide of pilfering a document from a copy machine.

Suffolk County has hired an outside attorney to

Suffolk County has hired an outside attorney to probe an incident in which Legis. Robert Trotta, pictured, accused a legislative aide of stealing a document from a copy machine. Photo Credit: James Escher

The administration of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has hired an outside lawyer to review the so-called “clash at the copying machine.”

The county has retained Theodore Sklar to investigate a November incident in which Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) filed a police report and called for the firing of $86,104-a-year legislative aide Robert Fonti, who he said was trying to pilfer a document the lawmaker was copying. Fonti complained to labor relations that Trotta physically accosted him, and the agency still is investigating.

Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Copiague) confirmed Sklar has interviewed him and several staff members. He said he hoped the inquiry will be complete within several weeks.

Jason Elan, Bellone’s spokesman, declined to confirm the hiring, because of the confidential nature of the case. Earlier, Elan had said it was important to investigate cases of alleged workplace violence.

Sklar is of counsel to the firm of Devitt, Spellman and Barrett, which does workers’ compensation cases for the county, according to the comptroller office.

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