The Town Board voted Tuesday to seek a legal opinion from the state attorney general on the propriety of the town attorney also holding the position of deputy town supervisor.
The vote was 3-2, with Council members Gene Cook, Ed Smyth and Mark Cuthbertson supporting it and Supervisor Chad Lupinacci and Council member Joan Cergol opposing the decision involving Nicholas Ciappetta.
Another part of the original resolution requesting the opinion, about whether there was a conflict with Ciappetta also serving simultaneously as president of the South Huntington school board, was removed from the resolution.
The acting deputy town attorney was directed to ask State Attorney General Letitia James for her legal opinion on the matter.
Lupinacci appointed Ciappetta, who was already town attorney, as deputy supervisor in 2019.
Before the resolution was amended, Cuthbertson said he didn’t have a problem with Ciappetta’s school board role. But Smyth said, “He wears too many hats. The opinion provided by ethics applies only to town code. I just think that as both town attorney and deputy supervisor and school board president within the town, it just has a bad appearance.”
The exact language of the resolution could not be immediately determined because it was added late to the agenda and some of the Zoom presentation was garbled.
The town board is meeting on Zoom. The meeting can be heard on the town page the day of the meeting, followed the next day by a video recording of the Zoom session.