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Lawyer: Dowling will pay $400G-plus to Gaffney in settlement

Dowling College has agreed to pay more than

Dowling College has agreed to pay more than $400,000 to Robert Gaffney, the former Suffolk County executive who served four years as the college's president, in a settlement of his lawsuit against the Oakdale school, his lawyer said. The photo is from Sept. 19, 2002. Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Dowling College has agreed to pay more than $400,000 to Robert Gaffney, the former Suffolk County executive who served four years as the college's president, in a settlement of his lawsuit against the Oakdale school, his lawyer said Monday.

Anton Borovina of Hauppauge, Gaffney's attorney, said the money was to cover unpaid consulting fees, interest and legal fees incurred during the nearly 4-year-old lawsuit.

"They are agreeing to a final resolution to Bob Gaffney's relationship with the college pursuant to his consultant position," Borovina said.

Gaffney could not be reached for comment.

A spokesman for Dowling said, "This agreement is governed by a confidentiality clause and we are not at liberty to confirm or deny any information dealing with this issue."

Gaffney, who was Dowling's president from 2006 to 2010, resigned before his planned departure to become a consultant for the college, Borovina said.

He filed suit against the liberal arts institution in State Supreme Court in Riverhead in 2010, alleging he was owed about $375,000, including interest.

The college, in a countersuit, said trustees had stopped paying Gaffney because he used college funds intended for capital expenses to pay down debt and led them to believe enrollment was better than it was.

Gaffney left Dowling on May 28, 2010. His departure came months after then-board of trustees chairman Scott Rudolph devised a plan, later approved, that then-trustee Matthew Crosson said in a 2009 letter would curtail the power of the presidency and make it easier to fire the person who held that office.

When Gaffney left, the trustees named Rudolph interim president.

With Kathleen Kerr

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