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Dec 23, 2013 11:44 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Cantwell Announces New Team In East Hampton Town Attorney's Office

Dec 23, 2013 12:51 PM

A former assistant town attorney has been tapped for the town attorney’s post in the incoming Larry Cantwell administration, and several other changes are in store for that office as well.

Elizabeth Vail, a graduate of St. John’s University School of Law with eight years of experience as assistant town attorney in Southampton Town and three years with the Suffolk County district attorney’s office, will serve as East Hampton Town’s new town attorney, Mr. Cantwell announced in a statement on Sunday.

“Liz has the broad municipal experience to manage the legal affairs of the Town of East Hampton and leadership skills to guide the town attorney’s office with integrity and independent judgment,” he wrote.

The current town attorney, John Jilnicki, a graduate of the same law school as Ms. Vail and a town attorney and assistant town attorney for East Hampton for the past 20 years, will continue to play an integral role in the office as an assistant town attorney, the supervisor-elect wrote.

“John has comprehensive knowledge of town government and the legal affairs of the town and has been a dedicated public servant,” the statement reads.

Mr. Cantwell in a phone interview this week declined to discuss specifics about the decision other than to say, "We want new leadership in the town attorney's office."

Rounding out the office as assistant town attorneys will be Elizabeth Baldwin and Michael Sendlenski.

Ms. Baldwin, a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law, is a former East Hampton Town assistant attorney. She served for five years and has “strong experience in planning, zoning and housing land acquisitions,” Mr. Cantwell said. She has practiced law for the past decade, and for the past two years has served as associate director and counsel to the North Shore Land Alliance.

Mr. Sendlenski, a graduate of Harvard University and Suffolk University Law School, has served as assistant town attorney in Southampton Town since 2007. He has “specific experience in drafting and enforcing quality of life, environmental and conservation law, obtaining search warrants and prosecuting zoning and code violations in town and state supreme courts and has litigated and argued appeals on municipal matters in the Second Department Appellate Division,” Mr. Cantwell wrote, adding that he has also served as chief of staff for the Committee on Public Safety of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

The incoming supervisor touted the attorneys’ broad experience, knowledge of municipal law and proven dedication to public service. And their individual specialized skills, he wrote, will bring experienced legal advice to the Town Board in such key areas as planning and zoning, litigation and effective code enforcement.

“We look forward to a town attorney’s office that maintains the highest ethical standards and provides solid legal support to town government,” he wrote.

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