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Babylon hires lawyer in private practice to represent village

Gerard Glass specializes in municipal and zoning law and represents property owners and other municipalities, such as Lindenhurst and Port Jefferson, but says he will recuse himself if any applications present a conflict.

Babylon Village Municipal Hall and the fire department

Babylon Village Municipal Hall and the fire department share a building, seen on Aug. 17, 2011, on Main Street. Photo Credit: T.C. McCarthy

The Village of Babylon has appointed Gerard Glass, a lawyer who represents several local property owners and other Long Island municipalities, to be its next village attorney.

Glass replaces Joel Sikowitz, Babylon’s longtime attorney, who is retiring.

At a village board meeting last Tuesday, Sikowitz called Glass “a superb attorney with a wealth of experience.”

Glass, 58, of West Islip, has a private practice in Babylon that specializes in zoning and municipal law, he said.

The village will pay him $75,000 annually for about 20 hours of work each month, Mayor Ralph Scordino said. Glass will attend board of trustees’ meetings, conduct legal research and draft local laws, among other tasks, according to Babylon’s retainer agreement with the attorney.

Glass’ fee is more than twice that of Sikowitz, who was paid about $36,000 annually, according to budget documents.

Babylon will not provide Glass with health insurance, Scordino said in explaining the difference in salary.

Babylon will pay Glass an additional $300 per hour for “excluded services” such as litigation and collective bargaining.

Glass said he is also the attorney for Lindenhurst and special counsel to Port Jefferson. He previously served as special counsel to Amityville, Mastic Beach and Babylon, he added.

Glass said he represents “a lot” of clients in Babylon Village. To avoid conflicts of interest, he will not represent clients on business that may require consideration by the village government, he said.

“To represent a client that may separately have something that goes before the village, if you’re not involved in that application in any way, shape or form — there’s no conflict there,” Glass said.

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