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Charles Regan dismisses attorney representing him in federal lawsuit

Former Riverhead High School principal Charles Regan has dismissed the attorney representing him against a federal lawsuit, according to court documents.

Mr. Regan, 49, is facing accusations of sexual misconduct with former Riverhead High School student Anastasia Stapon, who was 18 at the time, according to the lawsuit.

In August 2019, attorney John Ray of Ray, Mitev & Associates, LLP filed a 40-page complaint in the Eastern District Court of New York which it alleged sexual assault, battery, abuse, harassment and more. The federal lawsuit is against Riverhead Central School District officials and Mr. Regan. 

Mr. Regan submitted a written letter to the Holbrook-based firm representing him, Heilig, Branigan & Miller LLP, on Monday, Feb. 10. In the letter, he stated that “after careful consideration,” he “does not have confidence in your ability to represent me in Federal Court.”

In a court document dated Feb. 14, attorney Edward Heilig said Mr. Regan formally submitted the letter in person Feb. 10, where he asked that the firm “discontinue his representation and remit any remaining amount of initial client retainer.”

As a result, the firm refunded $2,000 to Mr. Regan for their services through Valley National Bank, according to court records.

The handwritten note from Charles Regan where he wrote to his attorney saying “I do not have confidence in your ability to represent me in Federal Court.”

Heilig, Branigan & Miller LLP requested an order be granted by the judge to relieve the firm from their duties and provide a 45-day time period for Mr. Regan to secure another attorney.

However, Mr. Ray requested Mr. Regan be given no more than 30 days to find a replacement. Typically, he said Wednesday, when a lawyer is discharged, the party is given a maximum of 30 days.

“Ed Heilig and his firm have been very fine lawyers for Mr. Regan,” Mr. Ray said. “Mr. Regan, as usual, is being a fool. I guess that’s his M.O.”

District officials in the Riverhead Central School District reassigned Mr. Regan to his residence with pay April 30 of last year following the accusation of sexual misconduct leveled by Ms. Stapon.

Ms. Stapon publicly spoke about her experience in May 2019, where it was alleged that Mr. Regan sent thousands of sexually charged text messages, videos and photos to Ms. Stapon during school and non-school hours. A 200-page text message transcription was attached to the federal lawsuit, as were graphic photos allegedly sent by Mr. Regan to the student.

In June, the Riverhead Board of Education filed disciplinary charges against Mr. Regan in accordance with Section 3020a of state education law. The district also hired an outside law firm to investigate the allegations.

However, the school board dismissed the disciplinary charges after approving Mr. Regan’s resignation in August, which was effective Sept. 27.

In September, a separate federal lawsuit accused the embattled administrator of engaging in sexual activity with two students during his previous employment with the Eastport-South Manor School District, including one girl who was just 14 years old at the time of the alleged incident. That lawsuit was also filed by Mr. Ray.

No criminal charges have been filed against Mr. Regan. He has not publicly spoken or issued a statement about the allegations since they were first revealed.

According to New York State Education Department records, the three certificates Mr. Regan held to work as an administrator, special education teacher and teaching assistant have been surrendered on his behalf.

Edward Heilig was not available for comment.