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Judge rules against former Brookhaven councilman on legal costs

A state Supreme Court judge has rejected former Brookhaven Town Board member Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld's lawsuit to force the town to pay his legal costs in a suit brought by a former aide.

That 2013 civil suit brought by former aide Jocelyn Rush claimed that Fiore-Rosenfeld harassed and discriminated against her because her multiple sclerosis illness prevented her from performing certain duties, including campaigning door-to-door.

Justice Joseph Pastoressa ruled the town was correct in not covering Fiore-Rosenfeld's legal expenses because actions taken by the town board member were taken for personal reasons, not to further town interests, and were outside the scope of his duties as a councilman.

Edward Yule, Fiore-Rosenfeld's attorney, criticized the decision, saying courts in the past have ruled that even former State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, who was criminally charged with corruption, was entitled to be defended.

Yule vowed an appeal, claming the town refused to cover Fiore-Rosenfeld after he criticized Town Supervisor Ed Romaine for being away on vacation in the Caribbean during a snowstorm. aIt was a political setup from day one,a he said.

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