Attorney Thomas Williams, who represented Democratic Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen in challenging last-minute personnel moves by her Republican predecessor, contends Gillen stiffed him out of $8,039 in legal fees and has gone to court for his money.

In papers filed as part of a fee arbitration dispute in State Supreme Court, Williams said Gillen hired him in April and terminated his services in May, but has yet to pay him. He contends three of her lawyers “suggested I should commit fraud” by preparing a retainer with Gillen’s campaign committee and billing “Friends of Laura Gillen” for his work.

“Such an action would constitute fraud and that under no circumstances would I do so,” wrote Williams, a former Nassau County civil service executive director.

Williams added in an interview Friday, “I don’t care how they pay it as long as they pay me. I am not putting in any fraudulent retainer or invoice.”

An attorney for Gillen responded in a statement, “The Supervisor made every effort to legally and appropriately compensate Attorney Williams for the fair value of the legal services he provided.”

Mathew Didora, a partner with the Abrams Fensterman law firm, added that Gillen “sought arbitration appropriately and lawfully to resolve disputes relating to the fee. That process is ongoing and will be resolved.”

Williams filed notice of Gillen’s right to arbitrate his fee in June. Gillen requested arbitration from Nassau’s administrative judge in July and Williams submitted his response July 30.

Williams, of Valley Stream, stood by Gillen’s side at a news conference April 11 after she filed a lawsuit against former Hempstead Republican Supervisor Anthony Santino and the town board, seeking to undo more than 150 employee promotions, transfers and raises approved in December along with a union deal would prevent layoffs even during a fiscal crisis.

In court papers, Williams said Gillen had contacted him April 4. They met in town hall on April 9 and he agreed to draft the necessary legal papers for filing the lawsuit two days later. He said he was told he would be paid the municipal rate of $225 per hour and that a resolution appointing him counsel for Gillen would be submitted to the town board on April 24.

But the resolution was never submitted. After arguing with Gillen’s town counsel Mitchel Pitnick over legal procedures, Williams said Gillen terminated him on May 3. He said submitted his bill May 7.

After repeatedly asking for payment, Williams said Pitnick suggested in June that Williams prepare a retainer agreement and invoice with Friends of Laura Gillen. Amy Marion, also a partner with Abrams Fensterman, suggested the same thing, Williams said.

Williams said another Abrams Fensterman lawyer, whose name he could not recall, subsequently called and urged him to do the retainer and invoice.

“I’m at the point where I’m very very upset at the way they handled this, particularly suggesting that I should commit fraud,” Williams said Friday. “They didn’t suggest it once, they suggested it thrice.”

Williams is no stranger to controversy. He was hired by former Democratic County Executive Thomas Suozzi as civil service commission director and fired less than a year later after clashing with the administration. He also helped an employee who was fired by Suozzi win a multi-million-dollar settlement for wrongful termination.

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