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Southampton Town attorney resigns

Southampton Town Attorney Michael C. Sordi has resigned just days after members of the town board publicly said he was negligent for filing a late response to a lawsuit against the town.

The delayed response has left the town facing a potential multimillion dollar court judgment.

The Town Board voted Friday, 3-0, to accept the resignation effective immediately; board members Christopher Nuzzi and James Malone abstained. The board also approved a settlement with Sordi, the terms of which were not available. The town attorney position pays $115,000 a year.

Sordi was hired on April 13, 2010, for a term to end Dec. 31.

He came under fire last Tuesday when, at a Town Board meeting, the three GOP members said he was negligent for failing to respond to the suit in a timely manner, leaving the town facing a potential default judgment of $70 million. The town's response was due Oct. 30. The town got a two-week extension but didn't file a response until Jan. 24.

The lawsuit was filed in 2009 by Nancy Genovese, of East Quogue, who was stopped outside the Air National Guard Base in Westhampton because she had taken pictures of a helicopter. When police found weapons and ammunition in her car, she said she was returning from a shooting range. She was released without charges and later filed the $70 million lawsuit.

At the meeting, Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said Sordi had been distracted because of the death of his mother. Deputy Town Attorney Kathleen Murray will fill the post while the town searches for a replacement.

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