Gillen’s lawsuit generates debate at Hempstead Town Board

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Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen’s lawsuit against the former town supervisor and members of the Town Board prompted a spirited conversation during a meeting Tuesday.

News 12 reported that outgoing Republican Supervisor Anthony Santino and members of the Republican-led board approved a measure blocking union workers from being laid off, even during a fiscal emergency. Santino also led a vote that approved nearly 200 last-minute personnel moves in the last month of his term.

The vote passed on a 4-3 margin. Gillen wants a judge to nullify both measures.

Republican Town Board Majority Leader Erin King Sweeney said during the board meeting that Gillen's lawsuit names each board member individually – including council members who voted against the measure in the first place.

She said that the board members will have to hire personal attorneys and the taxpayers will have to foot the bill.

Gillen insisted that none of the board members "are being sued in their individual capacity." King Sweeney fired back that she has a lawsuit filed against her as an individual.

"The Town of Hempstead residents are paying for this," said King Sweeney.

In a tweet posted Tuesday afternoon, King Sweeney said she will ask during a Town Board meeting Wednesday for a resolution “calling for publication of all legal fees & expenses to taxpayers from Gillen v. Town of Hempstead.”

Hempstead Town Board is also voting on whether to hire an outside law firm to represent former supervisor Santino in Gillen’s lawsuit.

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