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Town Attorney to be replaced

Bob DeStefano Jr. is out as town attorney.

The news came Friday afternoon before the Town Board meeting, where Stephen Kiely, a Mattituck attorney, was named to replace Mr. DeStefano.

Asked before the meeting the reason for the replacement, Mr. DeStefano told the Reporter, “It wasn’t my decision,” and “I’m not really sure why,” he was asked to leave.

He was just told by Supervisor Gerry Siller that the Town Board wanted to “go in a different direction,” he said.

Mr. DeStefano will stay on until the end of February, when Mr. Kiely, assumes his duties as town attorney at an annual salary of $140,000.

At the Board meeting, before voting on the resolution to hire Mr. Kiely, Mr. Siller said he and his colleagues wanted to thank Mr. DeStefano for his service; they were “extremely grateful” to him and to his “commitment to Shelter Island.”

Mr. Kiely was selected after an “exhaustive search,” Mr. Siller said, and appointing him was the result of “casting a wide net.”

Mr. DeStefano was appointed to the town attorney post by Supervisor Gary Gerth when he assumed office in January 2018. Mr. DeStefano had managed Mr. Gerth’s successful run for supervisor on the Republican ticket.

When Mr. Siller assumed office in January 2020, he retained Mr. DeStefano as town attorney, and made no mention of replacing him during his successful campaign of 2021.

This is a developing story and the Reporter will publish more information when it becomes available.