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Babylon adds another part-time attorney with political ties

The town supervisor hired Lindsay Henry — who is facing a misdemeanor domestic abuse charge — without interviewing others for the job, which comes with health benefits and a $50G salary.

Lindsay Henry will represent the Town of Babylon

Lindsay Henry will represent the Town of Babylon in personal injury cases, a position he calls "a perfect fit." Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

The Town of Babylon has hired Lindsay Henry, a former town councilman charged in September with beating his girlfriend, as a part-time assistant town attorney.

Henry joins a handful of politically connected lawyers with the same town job title, including a state assemblyman, another former town councilman and two attorneys based in a building where Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer has an office.

Henry, 55, assumed the post in January, not long after his last meeting on the town board Dec. 20, Town Attorney Joe Wilson said. Henry will represent Babylon in personal injury cases, Wilson said.

The position pays $50,000 annually and includes health insurance that will cost the town $28,000 this year, Babylon spokesman Daniel Schaefer said.

Schaffer, a Democrat, said he offered Henry the position and did not interview other candidates.

Henry, an Independence Party member, called the new post “a perfect fit,” citing his experience in insurance defense.

The town considered the third-degree assault charge against Henry when hiring him, Wilson said.

Henry pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor in September. A special prosecutor has been assigned to the case, said Sheila Kelly, a spokeswoman for the Suffolk County district attorney’s office.

Special prosecutors are usually assigned to avoid conflicts of interest, she said. Henry’s father was a Suffolk district attorney, and his sister is a Suffolk County district court judge.

Anthony Pancella, Babylon Republican chairman, said Henry “should have no place in town government” if convicted.

Wilson said the town would not decide in advance whether to fire Henry if convicted.

“If or when it does happen, we’ll have to make a decision at that time,” he said.

Babylon’s other part-time assistant attorneys include:

— David Bishop, a Democrat and former Suffolk legislator and Babylon councilman. Bishop, counsel to Babylon’s Accessory Apartment Review Board, is paid $18,000 annually.

— Assemb. Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor), former Southampton supervisor and town attorney. Thiele said he represents Babylon in state Supreme Court. He is paid $35,000 annually. Thiele and Schaffer served in the Suffolk Legislature together in the 1980s. Schaffer offered him the town job, Thiele said. “We’re good friends,” the assemblyman added.

— Kevin Snover, a Democrat, is paid $5,000 annually and receives health insurance as counsel to the Plumbing Board. Snover said Schaffer, his predecessor as Plumbing Board counsel, offered him the post. “I’ve known him a very long time,” Snover said.

— William Wexler, a Democrat. Wexler represents Babylon in several cases. He is paid $9,000 annually and receives health insurance. Wexler is also counsel to the town’s Industrial Development Agency. State Board of Elections records show that his wife, Andrea Wexler, has given $32,350 to the Babylon Democratic Committee, and $21,750 to the Suffolk Democratic Committee, which Schaffer chairs, since 2006. Court records list Wexler as Henry’s defense attorney.

Schaffer abstains on town board votes appointing the part-time attorneys, because he, Wexler and Snover have offices in the same North Babylon building, the supervisor said.

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