There is no justification for Babylon hiring Lindsay Henry as an assistant town attorney while he faces a charge of third-degree assault in the beating of his girlfriend.
That is, unless you are Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer, you double as Democratic Party boss of Suffolk County, and hiring people you know when you want to hire them for whatever position you want to put them in is just the way you do business. Then you need no justification.
Henry’s hiring is wrong. Schaffer’s defense — that he is sensitive to domestic abuse issues and will fire Henry, a former Babylon councilman and Independence Party member, if he’s found guilty — is what you say about someone already in your employ whom you are disciplining but not firing. To hire Henry under this cloud, after interviewing no one else, is to say you’re more interested in taking care of friends than the terrible message you’re sending to victims of domestic abuse.
No one has played the game more creatively than Schaffer. But resistance is rising to his dictatorial control. Voters rebelled against his shenanigans last year in Suffolk’s sheriff race and rejected his first choice.
Now, Liuba Grechen Shirley — a Democrat maneuvered out of a Babylon Town Board run last year by Schaffer so his choice could run unopposed, and who now seeks to challenge Rep. Peter King in November — has written a letter to Babylon officials asking them to fire Henry.
Schaffer responded to Grechen Shirley’s protest by writing a letter to Newsday in which he said, “I cannot support the conviction of someone in the court of public opinion, with congressional candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley acting as judge and jury.”
No, that job belongs to Schaffer.