Riverhead Town attorney leaving post; former supervisor taking over

Riverhead Town Attorney Dawn Thomas is leaving her post and former supervisor and current deputy town attorney Bob Kozakiewicz will likely be taking the helm in the attorney’s office, she told the News-Review last week.

Ms. Thomas will be gone as of Jan. 2, she said, to take a position as the principal law clerk to Judge Ralph Gazzillo, a county court judge who is currently an acting state Supreme Court judge.

“I am leaving because I have a excellent career opportunity to work for one of Suffolk’s finest jurists, not because of anything to do with my current position,” she said.

Mr. Kozakiewicz, a Republican who served as supervisor from 2000 to 2003, was one of two part-time town attorneys hired in January, just weeks after former Conservative Party chairman, Republican Sean Walter, was sworn in as supervisor. Mr. Kozakiewicz had served as town attorney under supervisors Joe Janoski and Jim Stark in the 1990s. The other part-time town attorney appointed in January was James Saladino, the town’s current Conservative Party chairman. Both men have been receiving benefits from the town, which pay 75 percent of their health insurance.

Sources say Mr. Saladino is also leaving town employment.

Ms. Thomas said she believes the Town Board will be fully supporting Mr. Kozakiewicz as her successor, but the move will not become official until January.

“I have truly enjoyed my time in this position,” Ms. Thomas said of her work with the town. “I am grateful to have had the privilege of working with some of the sincerest, hardest-working people I have ever known; true public servants. I am looking forward to new challenges, but I will truly miss being a part of our town government.”

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