By Connor Beach
A lawsuit by a former staffer of Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci accuses the supervisor of sexual assault during his time as state assemblyman.
Attorneys representing Lupinacci’s former Chief of Staff Brian Finnegan filed the civil lawsuit just after noon on Tuesday in the state supreme court building in Central Islip.
“It was a straight up middle of the night touching, assault, battery of a very graphic sexual nature,” Manhattan-based attorney Arthur Aidala, who is representing Finnegan, said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
The lawsuit alleges that Lupinacci sexually assaulted Finnegan early in the morning of Dec. 13, 2017 when the two traveled to Albany to clear out Lupinacci’s assembly office.
The lawsuit alleges Finnegan and Lupinacci left the state assembly office around 6 p.m. and, at Lupinacci’s insistence, stopped at several bars before returning to the Albany Renaissance Hotel where the two were sharing a room.
“There was an insistence by Mr. Lupinacci that Brian share the hotel room with him because they didn’t have enough money in the budget to have two hotel rooms,” Aidala said.
The lawsuit alleges Finnegan woke up at around 2:30 a.m. “feeling as if he was being touched and observed” by Lupinacci who was “on his knees at the side of the bed.”
“This predator was able to take advantage of me to perform forcible, non-consensual and unwanted sexual acts on me in the middle of the night while I was sleeping,” Finnegan said at Tuesday’s press conference held in front of the third district court in Huntington Station.
Finnegan said he was able to “escape” the hotel room and bought an Amtrak ticket home several hours later. He said called in sick for four straight days then resigned from Lupinacci’s staff following the incident.
“I resigned my position in the New York State Assembly and passed up on the job to be an executive assistant and a senior advisor to the supervisor of the Town of Huntington that had already been offered to me,” Finnegan said. “All my hard work was meaningless all because I was the target of a sexual predator.”
The events on Dec. 13 followed a year of “repeated pattern of abuse” by Lupinacci that included personal questions of a sexual nature, Finnegan said.
Aidala said the lawsuit is seeking monetary damages for pain and suffering, as well as economic damages Finnegan suffered as a result of turning down his job offer with the supervisor’s office.
A Huntington town spokeswoman declined to comment.
Attorney Brian Griffin said in a statement late Tuesday, “These allegations are unequivocally false and completely without merit.”
Griffin called the lawsuit “an attempt at an unjust and unwarranted financial payday.” According to the attorney, no complaint was made to the state assembly regarding the alleged abuse.
“Supervisor Lupinacci denies these claims and will continue to serve the people of the Town of Huntington in the same professional and dedicated manner that he has done throughout his career in public service,” Griffin said. “He will vigorously defend himself against these false allegations.”
NOTE: This story has been edited from its original version to include response from Lupinacci’s attorney.