The Long Island Pine Barrens Society will honor three firebrand attorneys -- former Chief Deputy County Executive Paul Sabatino and environmental lawyers Reggie Seltzer and Jennifer Juengst -- at its annual $325 a head fundraising bash on Oct. 21.
"The nice thing about these awards is that we do them on the basis of merit not strategy," said society executive director Richard Amper, noting that "none of them have a reputation for being pro-development."
The event, which draws about 200 backers, is being held at Oheka Castle and will also honor the Suffolk County Water Authority for its contributions to protecting the region's clean water.
Sabatino, who was former chief deputy county executive and long time legislative counsel, said it is the first time he has ever been honored by any group.
"I was stunned," said Sabatino, who has amassed as many political enemies as friends. "Either we're going to drive all the developers away or bring out a 1,000 new grassroots people," adding, "They may lock the doors at Oheka."