By Connor Beach
The Huntington town board appointed a new town attorney during last Thursday’s meeting in one of their first actions of 2018.
The resolution, sponsored by Supervisor Chad Lupinacci and seconded by Councilman Eugene Cook, appointed 38-year-old Nicholas Ciappetta to replace Cindy Elan-Mangano, who’s served in the position since 2013.
Ciappetta, of Huntington, graduated from Walt Whitman High School in 1997 with Lupinacci, and has served on the South Huntington school board since 2004, the same year Lupinacci was elected to the board.
Ciappetta earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Vassar College in upstate Poughkeepsie and his law degree from Hofstra University in Hempstead.
For the last 14 years, Ciappetta has worked as an attorney for the City of New York in the Corporation Counsel’s office.
Ciappetta, who will take over the full-time position as Huntington Town Attorney on Feb. 14, said his work with the New York City Law Department has prepared him for the new role.
“I’ve been working for the largest municipal law department in the country, and in that capacity I’ve defended city policies and laws in response to constitutional challenges,” Ciappetta said.
Through his work for the city, Ciappetta said he has gained experience trying cases at both the state and federal level and has progressed his experience as a public servant.
“I’ve managed large teams of attorneys on large discover cases, and I supervise a team of junior attorneys currently,” Ciappetta said. “I’ve been working towards something like this in my career, and all of my experience has been as a public servant in some capacity.”
As the currently elected president of the South Huntington school board with significant experience working with the new supervisor, Ciappetta said he would have a good understanding of “where the town board members are coming from.”
“This is a position where you want to have a good rapport with the supervisor, and I think so much of what happens in the town goes through the town attorney’s office so you want to make sure that you are on the same page,” Ciappetta said.
Joining Ciappetta in the town attorney’s office is retired Suffolk County Court of Claims Judge and Supreme Court Justice Daniel Martin, who was appointed deputy town attorney.
Martin, 70, previously served as a town councilman in the late ’80s and town attorney from 1990-1993, and is a former leader of the Huntington Town Republican Party.
Ciappetta said an experienced judge and lawyer like Martin will be a valuable resource to help junior attorneys in the office.
Ciappetta said, “I haven’t worked with him before, but, as a former Supreme Court Justice, I look forward to his assistance and his advice.”