Suffolk legislative presiding officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Copiague) said attorney Joel R. Weiss has been retained to undertake a preliminary investigation to protect a whistleblower who has alleged potential government wrongdoing.

Gregory said Weiss, whose agreement has a limit of $25,000, started work several days after the county legislature on April 9 authorized the hiring to determine witnesses and documents that may need to be subpoenaed as part of his review. Lawmakers didn't identify the whistleblower or the specifics of the case. The county legislature must vote to authorize subpoenas.

Weiss worked in the Nassau County district attorney's office from 1978 to 1988, rising to chief of the commercial frauds and rackets bureau. Weiss is currently of counsel at the law firm Farrell Fritz, which is based in Uniondale.

According to the resolution, Weiss is supposed to make his findings known to lawmakers within 15 days. Gregory said he has arranged for Weiss to meet with lawmakers on May  14 before the start of a night meeting of the legislature.

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