Former Town of North Hempstead Attorney Richard S. Finkel is now serving as legal counsel to the Port Washington Police District.
Finkel, an attorney with Garden City-based law firm Bond Schoeneck & King, had served as the town’s attorney for eight years, and moved to the private sector in 2012. He is replacing Stephen Ressa, who had represented the police district as its attorney for 25 years.
The police district accepted Finkel’s proposal at Tuesday’s Board of Police Commissioners meeting.
The district had put out a request for proposal for legal counsel in December and received two – one from Finkel, and one from Bee, Ready, Fishbein, Hatter & Donovan, which currently serves as the district’s labor attorneys. Ressa had not responded to the RFP, said Police Commissioner Dave Franklin.
Putting out the RFP, a measure the district aims to do periodically to “test the waters,” was not a “reflection or slight” on Ressa in any way, Franklin said. He stressed that Ressa had “gone above and beyond what’s called for” in serving the district.
Finkel’s bid – $34,800 annually, $1,200 less than Ressa's fee – was chosen because Bond Schoeneck & King has “extensive resources and assets statewide, a 200-member firm with experience in municipal, labor, environmental and communications law,” Franklin said.
Reached by Patch, Ressa had no comment about the district's new direction.
In his tenure, Ressa did a “yeoman’s job” representing the district, Franklin said.
Ressa, who received a round of applause for his service to the district, will remain its legal counsel through February.