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Hempstead Town hires outside attorneys to assist in federal lawsuit

Hempstead Town Hall is at 1 Washington St.

Hempstead Town Hall is at 1 Washington St. in Hempstead Village. (Nov. 28, 2011) Credit: J.C. Cherubini, 2011

The Hempstead Town board Tuesday unanimously approved two resolutions to retain outside attorneys to assist in a federal lawsuit against the town’s new council district map.

The board approved the agreement that calls for retaining for $875 per hour the law firm of Jones Day, with offices in Manhattan and Washington, D.C. The board also approved another agreement with the Manhattan law firm Lewis & Fiore, and attorney Paul DerOhannesian II of DerOhannesian & DerOhannesian in Albany, for $375 per hour.

The outside counsel will assist the town attorney’s office in defense against four plaintiffs, all Democrats, who are suing over the town’s new map. The plaintiffs claim the six-district map violates the voting rights of blacks and Hispanics, dilutes their voting power, and fails to create a second majority-minority district.

Last week, a federal judge denied a request for a temporary restraining order by the four Hempstead residents, who are seeking to block the town from implementing the redistricting map adopted last month. Justice Leonard D. Wexler ordered the parties back for a hearing May 14.

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