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Candidate urges firing of Babylon Town attorney accused of abuse

Liuba Grechen Shirley, Democratic candidate for Congress, delivered a letter to Babylon Town Hall Thursday, Feb. 1, 2 calling on town officials to fire a town attorney, Lindsay Henry, who is accused of domestic assault. (Credit: Newsday / Jesse Coburn)

A local congressional candidate delivered a letter to Babylon Town Hall on Thursday calling on town officials to fire a part-time assistant town attorney charged in September with beating his girlfriend.

Liuba Grechen Shirley, who is seeking Democrats’ nomination to challenge Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) in November, wrote and delivered the letter, which called Lindsay Henry, a former town councilman who pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor assault, “unfit to serve as a governmental official.”

“At a time when women are bravely stepping forward to tell their most intimate stories of abuse, the Town of Babylon should not hire a man facing charges for assaulting his girlfriend,” the letter read.

Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer offered Henry the $50,000-a-year post, which he assumed last month.

In statements provided by his spokesman, Schaffer said he would “not deprive Mr. Henry of his right to due process,” and described Grechen Shirley’s letter as “attacks” that were “irresponsible” and “politically motivated.”

Henry could not be immediately reached for comment.

Town Attorney Joe Wilson previously told Newsday that the town would not decide in advance whether to fire Henry if he is convicted.

But Schaffer said Thursday: “My position was always that if he was convicted he would be terminated,” and called domestic violence “abhorrent.”

Grechen Shirley, of Amityville, left the letter with Schaffer’s receptionist. Town spokesman Kevin Bonner said Schaffer was unable to receive the letter personally because he was in a meeting.

Grechen Shirley called on King and other Democratic challengers to co-sign the letter.

“At this stage it is still a matter to be determined by the Town of Babylon government,” King said Thursday. “I trust they will make the proper decision.”

DuWayne Gregory (D-Copiague), presiding officer of the Suffolk Legislature who is also running for King’s seat, said he would sign the letter.

“It’s inappropriate to hire someone with that background,” he said of Henry.

Democratic candidate John Rennhack said Thursday that he is writing his own letter to the town.

“It was the wrong move to hire him with this pending,” Rennhack said. But “we should make sure he is guilty before passing judgment.”

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