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Babylon hires law firms after documents subpoenaed by Suffolk DA

Babylon Town has hired Manhattan-based Cadwalader, Wickersham &

Babylon Town has hired Manhattan-based Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP and Mineola-based LaRusso, Conway & Bartling.   Credit: Anthony J. Causi

Babylon Town has hired two law firms after being subpoenaed by the Suffolk County district attorney’s office regarding a solid waste consultant, subcontractor and staffing company used by the town.

The town was served a subpoena last month to turn over documents created since January 2014 related to consultant Herb Greene, subcontractor Doug Jacob and Red Hill Professional Services, which Jacob owns.

The town has hired Manhattan-based Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP — considered one of the oldest continually operating law firms in the country and the oldest in New York City — at a rate of $872 an hour for partners and $475 an hour for associates. The international practice specializes in corporate, financial and real estate law. The town also hired LaRusso, Conway & Bartling of Mineola, a firm specializing in criminal law. The company’s partners will be paid $275 an hour and associates $175 an hour.

Babylon has been using Greene, who lives in Williamsburg, Virginia, as a solid waste consultant for more than a decade, with Jacob, who lives in Pelham in Westchester County, listed on Greene’s current contract as a subconsultant. Greene is paid $85 an hour while Jacob gets $93.50 an hour.

Red Hill, which records show was started in 2007 by Jacob as a professional services company, provides about three dozen nonunion employees to a half dozen departments in the town. In 2018, Greene billed the town for $1,794,833, of which $48,132 was for his services. Jacob’s fees were $133,480, while $1,613,221 was billed for Red Hill employees.

The district attorney’s subpoena stated that the town must provide the documents to a grand jury on Dec. 4. Town officials met with the district attorney’s office last week, town spokesman Kevin Bonner said. It was agreed by both parties that the categories of requested documents that the town could quickly produce, such as contracts, meeting minutes and invoices, would be provided by Dec. 4. Other categories of documents, such as emails, will be turned over on a “rolling” basis, Bonner said.

In November 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission concluded a more than yearlong investigation into Jacob, who for more than a decade also worked as the town’s municipal finance adviser until stepping down when the investigation was launched. No action was taken by the SEC.

Jacob, who was the town comptroller for a decade before retiring in 2003, was convicted in 1998 of eight misdemeanor counts of second-degree offering a false instrument for filing in relation to town documents and was sentenced to probation.

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