Several reader comments posted to this story were critical of the town attorney and later, of HuntingtonNow for either having removed them or for having neglected to include details surrounding her resignation.
It is important for readers to understand that in the absence of documentation or witnesses, HuntingtonNow cannot and will not report any story based on speculation or hearsay.
After a phone interview Sunday morning with Ms. Misir that necessitated HuntingtonNow’s questions about her time in the Marine Corps because of reader comments challenging that service, together with our request for documentation that would put any such questions to bed, she instead sent us the following message:
Dear Pam, You fail to understand that you have the obligation to exercise due diligence before publishing as fact, false information that has been provided to you with actual malice. I would suggest you contact a media attorney immediately, as you have now been advised that you are currently publishing false and defamatory information, charging an attorney with engaging in a crime.
My attorneys will be in contact with you tomorrow. Have a great day, Deb
After consulting with an attorney and researching digital communications law again, HuntingtonNow is confident that we are not legally responsible for reader comments.
However, to protect the readers who posted them, certain remarks were removed, while a couple of others were never posted.
Ms. Misir’s email to HuntingtonNow did not include documentation to verify her military service. However, we stand ready to publish same if and when received from her.
In the meantime, we have reached out to a government agency for such verification and will report back once we have a response in hand.
Huntington Town Attorney Deborah N. Misir resigned Friday after 18 months in office.
She notified Town Supervisor Ed Smyth, members of the Town Board and other elected officials Friday at 5:36 p.m., saying her resignation would be effective Monday night at midnight.
Her resignation letter included a long list of accomplishments both legal and cultural. She listed handling a “huge backlog of thousands of cases from the COVID lockdown and the courts’ reopening, settled numerous, old litigation matters that had been pending for years, and managed successful labor negotiations that resulted in historic savings for the Town,” and “I successfully operated despite massive cuts to the Town Attorney Office lawyers staff, operating with 25% less full-time attorneys and 60% less part time attorneys than my predecessor.”
“It has been a pleasure to serve my neighbors, the people of Huntington and the Town of Huntington,” she wrote.
Misir is married to Republican power player Grant Lally and is partner wth him in Lally & Misir LLC in Mineola.
They live in Lloyd Harbor.
Dear Ed, Gene, Joan, Sal, Dave, Andrew, Andre and Jillian,
As I have notified many of you in the last few weeks, I hereby resign as Town Attorney effective, Monday, July 17, 2023 at 11:59 pm.
I am very proud that during my 18 month tenure, as the first, female minority Town Attorney in Long Island history, with many of your support and the dedicated efforts of Office of the Town Attorney staff:
- I personally organized the first ever celebration in Town Hall of Holi and Diwali in April 2022, October 2022 and March 2023 – welcoming hundreds of Indian Americans, South Asian Americans and Caribbean Americans, community groups and young people;
- I personally hosted a celebration of Huntington’s Declaration of Rights in the Town Attorney Office in June 2022, welcoming hundreds of Town Hall employees and Huntington residents to celebrate and learn about this significant historical document;
- I personally hosted a Thanksgiving celebration in November 2022, welcoming hundreds of Town Hall employees and outside counsel to the Town Attorney Office;
- I personally attended and represented the Town in dozens of appearances after hours and on week-ends, at public and community events, including organizing with Confidential Assistant Steve Haddock, a fundraising drive for baby clothes and supplies at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Huntington Station in May 2022;
- I organized the first exhibition of Huntington’s Legal History at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Museum and Town Hall, together with Town Clerk Andrew Raia, Town Archivist Antonia Matteou, and the Town’s Jo-Ann Raia Archives in Spring 2023, presenting dozens of historic legal documents and artifacts that have never before been made publicly available;
- I represented the Town in presenting a lecture on cybersecurity law at the Suffolk County Bar Association’s Allan Sak Municipal Law Day in May 2023;
- I administratively re-organized the Town Attorney Office, professionalizing and upgrading our legal capabilities for federal and major litigation, and creating attorney teams for Enforcement, Torts, Contracts and Major Litigation to increase efficiencies and uniformity;
- We physically cleaned out, painted and organized the Town Attorney offices, with the assistance of Director Bill Musto’s team, reviewing, scanning and disposing of hundreds of boxes of old legal files, and proudly putting on display, the Flag of the United States of America, and for the first time, the historic Liberty Flag and significant historic legal documents of the Town of Huntington in the Town Attorney Office;
- Most importantly, I did all this, while engaged in my primary task of defending and prosecuting the Town’s legal interests. Specifically
a. I managed the huge backlog of thousands of cases from the COVID lockdown and the courts’ reopening, settled numerous, old litigation matters that had been pending for years, and managed successful labor negotiations that resulted in historic savings for the Town;
b. I successfully operated despite massive cuts to the Town Attorney Office lawyers staff, operating with 25% less full-time attorneys and 60% less part time attorneys than my predecessor;
c. my actual expenditures for in-house attorneys were the lowest in the last 10 years, and my actual expenditures for outside counsel was the 2nd lowest in the last 10 years.
10. Finally, it was my mission to make the Huntington Town Attorney Office and Town Hall equally accessible to the growing minority communities of Huntington, many of whom have felt, and been excluded in the past from Town government. That is a project that I hope the Town Board and senior officers of the Town of Huntington will continue.