By Janee Law
Longtime Huntington resident Andrew “Andy” W. Lawrence Jr. has retired after 40 years from his position as prosecutor and special assistant district attorney for the Village of Huntington Bay.
During his time with the village, Lawrence said, he developed close relationships.
“I enjoyed my relationships with the police officers, with the village officials, but most of all with meeting and working with village residents,” Lawrence, 72, said. “Over the last 40 years, I developed some very good relationships with a lot of people whom I met in my position as an attorney for the village.”
Lawrence came to Huntington when he was 7 years old and studied for seven years at St. Patrick’s. He attended Chaminade High School and graduated in 1963 and went on to pursue his undergrad at Marquette University in Wisconsin.
From there, Lawrence joined the U.S. Marine Corp from 1967-1970 and was a marine officer during the Vietnam War.
“When I was in school, I had a motivation to get involved in seeking justice and fairness,” Lawrence said. “During the years when I was in the Marine Corps, the marines were the one service of the American services that allowed non-lawyer officers to represent individuals in court marshal, so I did a lot of that when I was in Vietnam.”
Lawrence left the Marine Corps to go to law school at St. John’s University on the G.I. Bill.
At the same time, Lawrence became the acting commanding officer for the Marine Reserves in the Halesite Unit, a post he left in 1978.
He graduated from law school in 1973 and started working for the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office. He was a senior assistant DA for five years, but left to go into private practice in 1978.
He is currently a partner with the Toaz, Buck & Myers law firm in Huntington village.
Lawrence also took the job as Village of Huntington Bay prosecutor, and the district attorney’s office appointed him as special assistant DA to handle village courts.
“The village justices I knew from law school and from the years I was in the DA’s office,” he said. “To me it was just a continuation of that which I had already been doing in the DA’s office and I really enjoyed it.”
Lawrence is part of several local organizations, including the deputy commander of the American Legion Huntington Post 360 as deputy commander, Visiting Nurse Services in Northport as general counsel, Veterans of Foreign Wars in Huntington Station.
Lawrence was also honored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians in 2013, when he served as grand marshal of the annual Huntington Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.
His last day with the Village of Huntington Bay was Dec. 31, 2017.
In regards to his decision to retire, Lawrence said he just felt it was time.
Although he’ll continue with his private practice work, Lawrence said, he plans on lightening his workload.
With some more free time, he plans to spend more time with his family and travel.