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Mar 24, 2010 1:44 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Village Attorney Bo Bishop resigns

Editor's Note: This story was updated on April 1 with the correct date Bo Bishop's term as village attorney would have expired, June 30.
Mar 24, 2010 1:44 PM

Westhampton Beach Village Attorney Bo Bishop tendered his letter of resignation Tuesday afternoon, less than a month after the Village Board passed a resolution that forbids him from sharing his legal opinion on village matters in public.

The letter is communication between attorney and client and thus cannot be released to the public, according to Village Clerk Kathy McGinnis.

Mr. Bishop, who also served as the attorney for Westhampton Beach’s Zoning Board of Appeals, Architectural Review Board and Planning Board, was the village attorney for the past four years. He earned $67,600 a year, and his two-year term was due to expire at the end of May.

Mr. Bishop said recent actions of Village Board members made him unable to represent them.

“I have to comply with the code of professional conduct,” he said Wednesday, and declined to elaborate on what those actions were.

At a board meeting earlier this month, three board members voted to ban Mr. Bishop from giving his legal opinion in public. Mr. Bishop was clearly angry that Hank Tucker, Joan Levan and Jim Kametler had passed the measure, and condemned the resolution at that meeting. Mayor Conrad Teller and board member Toni-Jo Birk voted against the resolution.

Ms. McGinnis said the village needs an attorney by law and hopes to hire one as soon as possible. The mayor appoints the attorney, subject to approval by the Village Board.

Another public official also resigned from the village this week. Tom Moore, a Zoning Board of Appeals member, said Tuesday that he is stepping down from his $1,500-a-year appointment. He declined to comment further and referred to a letter he said he wrote to the Village Board.

Ms. McGinnis said Wednesday that the village has still not received a letter from Mr. Moore. His five-year term on the Zoning Board of Appeals ends in May 2013.

Mr. Moore helped author five controversial resolutions—the one to silence Mr. Bishop, and four others that demanded records from the Westhampton Beach Police Department—that were approved in 3-2 votes at the board meeting earlier this month. Mr. Tucker, Ms. Levan and Mr. Kametler favored the resolutions, while Mayor Teller and Ms. Birk were opposed.

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This is a real joke.Now you tell us that A zoning board of appeals member helped author the resolutions!! But why are we not told who else authored these resolutions? Looks like people are starting to jump ship from this board and are trying to distance them selves form the board.Now we have to just get rid of either Tucker,Levan and Jim the GUN or lets just get rid of the board all together
By sjd (420), Westhampton Beach on Mar 24, 10 1:42 PM
1 member liked this comment
A very understandable move by Mr. Bishop.

The residents of WHB better take back control of their village from the Troika of obstruction and obfuscation!
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Mar 24, 10 2:47 PM
2 members liked this comment
By Hambone (514), New York on Mar 24, 10 5:51 PM

Please add links to older articles to include this article.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Mar 24, 10 6:48 PM
Mr. Cuomo,where are you??? Please step in before this Village government implodes.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Mar 24, 10 10:31 PM
1 member liked this comment
Andrew Cuomo is not the answer. Let's get someone in office who stands up to waste and fraud in government, who balances budgets and doesn't put the burden of future union pension contracts onto our children in order to gain power today. Vote for Levy in November.
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Mar 25, 10 9:36 AM
1 member liked this comment
HAHA, yeah, vote for the turncoat. Levy's a joke.

But I'm pretty sure Nellie was referring to Mr. Cuomo's role as State Attorney General, not his possible run for Governor.
By Pedro Salazar (22), Center Moriches on Mar 25, 10 11:23 AM
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Mar 25, 10 5:47 PM


By TIRED (13), whb on Mar 26, 10 12:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
Good for Mr. Bishop! Obviously something is very, very wrong with this Board.
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Mar 25, 10 12:02 AM
SO glad i moved out east from that mess ! some of the officials are well intended but there is a core of small minded individuals who think they have privilege as locals.now its like the movie where thre airliner crashes in a remote area and they start eating each other to survive.
By STANNER (15), SOUTHAMPTON on Mar 25, 10 9:00 AM
1 member liked this comment
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Mar 25, 10 11:08 AM
Now we have a parade with extra police...Who is paying for this? WHB or Southampton Town etc.. If these officers are not volunteers this is an improper use of taxpayer funds.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Mar 25, 10 5:50 PM
Do you read the newspaper articles or do you just comment because they give you a space to write?

From an article in the Press: Chief Dean said he usually sets aside around $5,000 from his annual budget to cover the overtime that is accumulated by some officers. He also said that the neighboring police departments do not charge Westhampton Beach Village for the extra patrols.


I ...more
By WHBYankee (17), Westhampton Beach on Mar 26, 10 10:54 AM
Point is they should not provide the service without charging. Why should SHT taxpayers foot any bill for police protection for a village that has its own force?
WHB should pay the Town for police protection and our Town govt. is wrong to allow this to continue. Abusus non tollit usum.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Mar 26, 10 10:28 PM
I believe Mr. Bishop did the right thing by resigning. If I was him I would not have taken being censored by 3 idiots either. This village is going to be sued out the !@# with these three idiots sitting on this board. That's too bad..Hope the taxpayers are ready to open up the wallets!!!
By sayitaintsojoe (100), Westhampton on Mar 25, 10 9:41 PM
The best is yet to come. The mayor has to appoint a new attorney. Can the board agree on this matter? History says not. Election day should speak for the people of this village. It's just not enough.
By Ebby (75), Sag Harbor on Mar 25, 10 10:42 PM

By TIRED (13), whb on Mar 26, 10 12:13 PM
You are 10000% right let me know how we can get this done
By sjd (420), Westhampton Beach on Mar 26, 10 7:06 PM
Good idea, then you will get the SHT police coverage for your parade included in your tax bill and I will have nothing to complain about.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Mar 26, 10 10:36 PM
The “New N.Y. Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act”

The government reorganization law was authored by the New York State Attorney General’s Office. In May 2009, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled his proposal for the new legislation after spending several months working to build support for the plan. It was signed into law in June 2009

Among the most important changes related to village dissolution under the new law are the requirements set for a citizen ...more
By TIRED (13), whb on Mar 28, 10 11:34 AM
I would like to figure out a way that we can contact each other if you would like to start the ball rolling
By sjd (420), Westhampton Beach on Mar 28, 10 3:25 PM

I am just a professional trouble maker - and am familiar with the law because I would like to disband my local police force at my F/T home.

What this effort would need is A LOT of local interest, and I can not judge the interest in that.

If you look up the above mentioned law, and if there was a lot of local interest, you just start a petition. If you do, I will put it on the WEB for you - and help over the summer.

How many registered voters are there ...more
By TIRED (13), whb on Mar 30, 10 9:50 PM