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John Kennedy, Suffolk comptroller, gets outside counsel in lawsuit

Kennedy is a defendant in a suit that seeks to force him and County Executive Steve Bellone to recoup bonuses made by the DA’s office.

Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy speaks during a

Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy speaks during a news conference in Brookhaven Town Hall on June 9, 2015. Credit: Steve Pfost

Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy said he has retained outside counsel to represent him in a lawsuit that seeks to force him and County Executive Steve Bellone to collect $3.25 million in bonuses given to district attorney employees since 2012.

Kennedy said on Thursday that County Attorney Dennis Brown would have a conflict of interest in representing him because the lawsuit also names Bellone and district attorney employees who received bonuses.

Kennedy said Anton J. Borovina of Melville had been on retainer for up to $25,000 a year under former Comptroller Joseph Sawicki. Kennedy called the cost to defend him, “de minimis.”

Borovina said that in addition to representing Kennedy in the lawsuit over the bonuses filed by Miller Place attorney John Ray, Kennedy also has asked him to examine the bonus payments.

“I can tell you that I’ve been asked to review the legality of these forms of payments from asset forfeiture funds, and consult with the comptroller,” who is in charge of payment, Borovina said.

Bellone spokesman Jason Elan and Brown declined to comment.

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