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Jan 20, 2016 10:07 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: NancyLynn Ferrini Thiele Appointed Assistant East Hampton Town Attorney

Nancylynn Ferrini and Damon Hagen
Jan 22, 2016 10:50 AM

UPDATE: Friday, 10:15 a.m.

The East Hampton Town Board appointed Ms. Thiele as an assistant town attorney on Thursday night, along with another attorney, Hope de Lauter.

Ms. Thiele, a longtime upstate district attorney and former counsel for the New York State Assembly and Senate, will be paid $93,000 per year. Ms. De Lauter will be paid $75,000.

Both attorneys will begin work at East Hampton Town Hall on February 8.

UPDATE: Wednesday, 2:45 p.m.

Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said this afternoon that he is disappointed that Ms. Thiele is no longer available for the position.

“I am disappointed that NancyLynn is no longer available for consideration,” he said via text message. “I thought she was an excellent candidate for town attorney. Kathleen Murray is currently acting town attorney and doing an excellent job. I will continue to search for the most qualified candidate.”


NancyLynn Ferrini Thiele, the counsel for the Senate Majority in Albany, is expected to be appointed as the new assistant town attorney in East Hampton on Thursday, eliminating her from consideration for the top attorney’s post in neighboring Southampton Town.

The pending appointment of Ms. Thiele, the wife of State Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr., was confirmed Wednesday by East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell and will shake things up at Southampton Town Hall, where Ms. Thiele had been in the running to replace former Southampton Town Attorney Tiffany Scarlato, who submitted her resignation earlier this month.

According to Mr. Cantwell, Ms. Thiele set herself apart from other candidates with her 10 years of experience as a district attorney in upstate New York, as well as her decade of experience as counsel for both the State Assembly and State Senate.

Earlier this week, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman noted that Ms. Thiele was his top pick for the position at Southampton Town Hall, while also acknowledging that the results from this coming Tuesday’s special election for Town Board could influence the decision.

While he was still leaning toward Ms. Thiele when reached earlier this week, Mr. Schneiderman said Damon Hagan, a Republican who made an unsuccessful bid for the Southampton Town Board in November, is another top candidate for the position. Typically, the town attorney is appointed by the supervisor, but Mr. Schneiderman pointed out that the Town Board ultimately has to approve the appointment. Since Mr. Hagan is the campaign manager for Town Board candidate Richard Yastrzemski, also a Republican, a win on Tuesday would create a Republican majority on the board, enough to sway the town attorney vote.

Mr. Yastrzemski is running against Democrat Julie Lofstad, and neither candidate has publicly weighed in on their preference for a replacement for Ms. Scarlato.

Mr. Schneiderman could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday.

“Could the election of Rich to the board mean that Damon Hagan would become a town attorney? Yea, I think that makes it more likely,” Mr. Schneiderman said on Tuesday. “I think that’s fair to say. But that doesn’t mean that Rich will pick his campaign manager or that the other two members of his party will put that person in, because I hope they share my desire to have the most qualified candidate as town attorney.”

At the time, Mr. Schneiderman added that Ms. Thiele’s appointment would be complicated by the fact she is married to Mr. Thiele, who also serves as the chairman of the Southampton Town Independence Party. The connection is one reason Mr. Schneiderman did not try to appoint the new attorney before there is a full Town Board.

“I want the best attorney regardless of their party and political affiliations,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “The fact that this one particular candidate is married to a state assemblyman and party leader does complicate it, but does not take away from the fact that she is highly qualified for the position.”

According to Mr. Schneiderman, there are several other candidates in the running for the town attorney position. He said one top contender had been Kevin Johnston, the chief deputy attorney for the Town of Brookhaven, but that Mr. Johnston withdrew his name from consideration earlier this week.

The new Southampton Town attorney will likely be appointed in early February, after the new Town Board member is sworn in. If Mr. Yastrzemski wins Tuesday’s election, the board will have three Republicans—Mr. Yastrzemski, Christine Scalera, and Stan Glinka—one Democrat, John Bouvier, and one Independence Party member, Mr. Schneiderman. If Ms. Lofstad wins, there will be two Democrats, two Republicans and one Independence Party member.

“I think it is important that the most qualified attorney is at the helm,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “I have a number of resumes from people who come close, but they would be managing people who have far more experience than they do in municipal law, so that to me is not the type of person I would see as town attorney.”

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Well now things have a new wrinkle.

Mrs. Thiele is to be appointed as an Assistant Town Attorney in East Hampton Town at that body's next meeting Thursday evening according to new reports in Newsday.

This would seem to eliminate her from the pool of candidates for Southampton Town Attorney. For her to accept that position and then two or three weeks later resign it to accept the Southampton Town position would certainly bring with it an odor the best room refresheners could never ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Jan 20, 16 12:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
Well, Mr. Tiger...

Although DH being Town Attorney does warm my heart, if selected, I would hope that he is the most qualified of applicants. I do not like nepotism. Red or Blue. As Jay said “I think it is important that the most qualified attorney is at the helm".

That being said, I'm intrigued that Ms Theile took a lesser position in EH. Could it be that Jay was also concerned with how "We the People" would look at his first 3 weeks of paybacks & favors? As you have suggested, ...more
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Jan 20, 16 6:02 PM
Mr. D,

We are in agreement that "it is important that the most qualified attorney is at the helm">

It would be nice if the Supervisor would set forth an outline indicating what qualities, what background, what experiences guided his determination to recommend an individual to the Town Board members as the next Town Attorney. While it might be difficult to totally quantify that check list surely Mr. Schneiderman has some sense of what he believes is necessary in this most important ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Jan 20, 16 8:31 PM
I will not be able to attend the debate. I have a " continuing Ed" lecture of sorts in EH.

My thought exactly about how clean this makes it. Except, the town board needs legal council...

We shall see how this plays out.

By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Jan 20, 16 9:51 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By saveamerica1 (2), Southampton on Jan 24, 16 8:38 AM
Jay has been around for many years and has a true understanding of the importance of choosing the brightest candidate for the Town Attorney position. Ms. Thiele has a lot of experience, is very smart and it's too bad that it became too complicated for her to take the position in Southampton.
VOTE on Tuesday Jan. 26th for Julie Lofstad. Fresh, honest and doesn't have a personal agenda.
By FiddlerCrab (96), Westhampton Beach on Jan 24, 16 10:19 AM
Wait so a vote for Yastrzaemski is also a vote for Hagan ? If thats the case then I really like Yaz even more than I did before. Thats two great choices for the price of one!
By Gillnetter (105), Hampton Bays on Jan 20, 16 12:56 PM
Come on Gill there was never any question but that you would be voting for Yaz.

the question is is it proper for Yaz to then vote for Hagan as Town Attorney and is Mr. Hagan still vying to be the next Republican Town Leader?

Can you spell recusal?
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Jan 20, 16 1:17 PM
I am curious-- if Mrs. Thiele is elected, will she and her children be required to reside in Southampton on a full-time basis? I am sure one or more of the regular contributors on this site will know that answer
By Mrs.Sea (268), Sag Harbor on Jan 20, 16 1:00 PM
what are you talking about??
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jan 20, 16 8:44 PM
When I posted this question, this article had not been updated that Mrs. Thiele was no longer interested in the Southampton position. From what I have read, she lives and works in the Albany area.
By Mrs.Sea (268), Sag Harbor on Jan 21, 16 9:04 AM
Tiger, I thought Bill Wright was the Republican Chairman. Although i have to hand it to you, you break more stories on here then the Southampton Press does.
By Gillnetter (105), Hampton Bays on Jan 20, 16 1:34 PM
... way too much nonsense and politics surrounding this appointment. They need to see more (other) candidates.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Jan 20, 16 2:31 PM
Insestuous behavior yet again. We pull another political hack from an assembly known for its corruption.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jan 20, 16 5:43 PM
I saw all of the debates on tv or in person and I thought Mr. Hagan was very savvy. I also remember the Southampton Press was very positive in their endorsement of him. If Mr.Tiger is right and he is being considered for Town Attorney and Republican Chairman I would rather have him in Town Hall working for John Bouvier then working against us and David Calone, a real Democrat for Congress.
By CleanWaters (80), Southampton on Jan 20, 16 6:26 PM
1 member liked this comment

I certainly understand your frustrations with the current fashion that the party of FDR is run by in Southampton Town.

We disagree on Julie Lofstad's credentials as a bona fide Democrat. And she certainly was not handpicked by the former Independence Party Supervisor and current pretender Democrat in a bid against David Calone a life long Democrat for the privilege of Representing the residents of the 1st Congressional District.

I believe the Supervisor is entitled ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Jan 20, 16 8:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
Always interesting, always informative -- you've quite an institutional memory, Mr. Tiger.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Jan 21, 16 9:42 AM
... you are not a Democrat, you are a Repub. trying to turn Democrat voters against Lofstad. You endorse the mumbling Yaz and Hagan, both of whom are card-carrying Repubs. Makes no sense.

Hagan, wouldn't and will never "work" for Bouvier, simply because he beat him in the last election. If he is being considered for Repub. chairman that is even more reason for him not to be considered for the town attorney job. All objectivity will fly out the window, in favor of party politics.

Look ...more
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Jan 21, 16 10:07 AM
Why can't Bouvier have Hagen work for him? Is Jay and him not effective enough leaders to work with people regardless of their political party? Does that mean that if I need help from town hall and I am a conservative I'm screwed because Bouvier and Jay didn't have the conservative line in the last race. Because I don't agree with them 100% of the time they can't work with me? I thought our elected officials are supposed to be able to work together with everybody. Thanks a lot I guess we all ...more
By Gillnetter (105), Hampton Bays on Jan 21, 16 6:01 PM
Well Gill as Ronnie Reagan often said "oops there you go again"

Not at all certain how you get from point A to point B, but all logical reasoning aside let me refer you Lewis Carroll:

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Jan 22, 16 11:13 AM
As the world turns...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Jan 20, 16 8:39 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By turkeyloser (22), east quogue on Jan 21, 16 10:02 AM
Tiger your hypocrisy has no bounds. On January 17, 2016 at 1:52 when you were supporting Jay picking Fred Thiel's Wife for Town Attorney “Bottom line is for the most part its to the victors go the spoils - jobs jobs jobs. Sometimes we get lucky and the spoils recipient has the right qualifications, other times we simply get the spoilee.”

Now you say that if Yaz wins he shouldn't have a vote for who the Town Attorney is. So because Jay won he gets his choice but if Yaz wins ...more
By Gillnetter (105), Hampton Bays on Jan 21, 16 5:56 PM
To make it easier for you and anyone else interested in seeing exactly what I said in my January 17, 2016 at 1:52 post here it is
Ok let us say you are not Damon. Forget Town Attorney, run for Town Board I'll assist in your campaign.

This think about Freddy's wife is intriguing to me. As far as I have been able to tell from my sources she has submitted no CV or application. I haven't a clue as to her qualifications other than assuming in Albany she is an enrolled Republican working ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Jan 22, 16 12:15 AM

My posts regarding Andrew Jackson's famous quote were not supportive of that position, Read the last line of your quote of my statement.

My standard regarding recusal is the same standard used in election law cases concerning what is known in petitions no no's as "candidate fraud" when committed by the candidate, a relative of the candidate or the candidate's campaign manager. Much the same way I was critical of the former supervisor not recusing herself from votes on ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Jan 21, 16 11:41 PM
As a person at the debate last night it was very obvious who is more up to date on what is going on in the town of southampton and who the right choice is for this election. I really don't see how people can say Julie Lofstad is the right candidate for the job in this election. Yaz was sharp on all topic's last night and Julie well seemed lost. Now Mr. Bouvier I got to say you are one miserable person. As sitting in the audience I could see you this old man (you) mimicking to Yaz while he was speaking ...more
By islander6615 (133), hampton bays on Jan 22, 16 6:56 AM
Really now I also attended last nights League of Women Voters debate and I thought both candidates did a good job of reviewing rehashing and reusing their sound bites.

I don't think either side changed any minds of those who attended and presumably will be among the small percentage of eligible voters who trod out Tuesday to their polling places and cast their ballots.

I can't say that either candidate covered any new ground or reversed any previously stated opinions.

Each ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Jan 22, 16 11:25 AM
Just saw conservative east end leader Jerry Brant screwing a vote row C sign on the hampton bays beautification sign. Wow I'm sure people will appreciate that. Good time you have julie
By farmlocal (83), Southampton on Jan 22, 16 7:27 PM
Mr. Tiger I would have to disagree with you on last nights debate. If you think Rich didn't dominate you are just fooling yourself. But let me ask you something? How come no article on that debate last night? Is the paper scared because the candidate they endorsed got crushed with intelligence and knowledge.

Mr. Brandt stop littering this town with signs where you have no right to. You are screwing your pathetic signs that say "cut taxes" into (HBBA) signs which happen to be beautiful and ...more
By islander6615 (133), hampton bays on Jan 22, 16 8:00 PM
You know sometimes blind allegiance to an individual or party can blind your senses.

I think anyone interested in voting on Tuesday can view the debate on cable and make up their own minds as to whether this was a domination event for either candidate.

No one I have spoken to on either side seemed to be at the same debate you attended. All agree neither hurt themselves or their opponent.

Both stuck primarily to their campaign sound bites and stayed on the path through ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Jan 22, 16 8:19 PM
I think Julie Loftstad has very little experience running anything. On the other hand Yaz is running the Southampton village into bankruptcy. The nonsense that goes on in that village is disgusting.The village budget is out of control, and he has done zero to control it. Yet again our choices in an election are bad and worse.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jan 24, 16 9:24 AM