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Glen Cove mayor's push to obtain a special counsel remains unresolved

Democrat Mayor Tim Tenke had proposed hiring an attorney to represent him separately from the Republican-majority city council. 

Glen Cove Mayor Timothy Tenke on Feb. 20,

Glen Cove Mayor Timothy Tenke on Feb. 20, 2018. Photo Credit: Raychel Brightman

The Glen Cove City Council voted to remove a resolution to consider hiring a law firm to provide special counsel services to Mayor Timothy Tenke.

Tenke had proposed hiring the Hempstead-based firm of Frederick K. Brewington as independent mayoral counsel “in an amount not to exceed $50,000” for the remainder of the year.

He moved to pull the resolution from consideration, partly because the city is now looking to hire a different law firm and because of Republican opposition, Tenke said after Tuesday’s city council meeting.  

The council on Tuesday approved a resolution to hire Cuomo LLC, a Mineola law firm, as counsel to the mayor’s office on a limited basis with payment not to exceed $7,500. Tenke declined to say why he wanted an attorney separate from the council.    

Tenke has wanted to hire his own counsel since he took office last year and after City Attorney Charles McQuair was reappointed. The Democratic mayor opposed McQuair's reappointment.

McQuair said Wednesday he “represents the board as a whole” and that he’s “not in a position to comment about the people that I represent.”

“Initially, the Republican councilmembers had indicated that they would be interested in doing that for me," Tenke said of hiring an independent mayoral counsel. "But it’s been a fight ever since to get them to approve it."

Tenke and Councilwoman Marsha Silverman are the only Democrats on the seven-member council. 

Tenke last January attempted to add an emergency resolution to appoint independent mayoral counsel to the agenda, but was voted down.

Republican Councilman Joseph Capobianco said he’s considering supporting Tenke’s proposal for independent counsel but is concerned about the cost.

“I think right now I’m actually thinking about it but $50,000 is a lot of money to have another attorney when we already have a city attorney,” Capobianco said.  

Democratic Councilwoman Marsha Silverman was the only member to vote against removing Tuesday’s resolution. She said Tenke “deserves to have counsel that he can rely on and trust.”

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