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Riverhead to appoint second lawyer to handle EPCAL sale negotiations

Riverhead Town plans to bring on a second lawyer to aid in the vetting process of Luminati Aerospace and contract negotiations after the town agreed to a $40 million sale of its remaining land at Enterprise Park at Calverton. Councilman Tim Hubbard had raised concerns about the vetting process last month.

The board is seeking the assistance of attorney Michael Heller of Melville-based law firm Lamb & Barnosky LLP. Attorney Frank Isler of the Riverhead firm Smith, Finkelstein, Lundberg, Isler and Yakaboski is slated to stay on in the negotiations.

Last month, Mr. Hubbard said he wanted to be sure qualified consultants were involved in the negotiations and that they would conduct background checks into the financial standing of any Luminati backers. He referred to the potential sale as the “single most important decision” he is going to make while on the Town Board.

The Riverhead Community Development Board “has determined it would be appropriate to appoint special counsel to handle this real estate transaction,” according to resolutions before the Town Board to approve both appointments.

The board will ratify the appointments at one of its next two board meetings. Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said at Thursday’s work session he thinks he has three votes to sign off on both attorneys. Councilman John Dunleavy said he “can’t vote” for Mr. Heller because he preferred a different attorney the town interviewed.

The attorneys will work “in concert” with each other, Mr. Walter said.

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