Press Release provided by Thomas Horn on January 7, 2012
LawyerCentral.com, January 7, 2012 — NEW YORK — Last month, John Jilnicki, the East Hampton Town Attorney, on behalf of the Town preferred charges regarding Larry Penny’s job performance believing at that time it was in the best interest of the Town. Thomas Horn, an employment attorney in private practice in Sag Harbor representing Mr. Penny, submitted a formal “Answer” to the allegations. Now, after frank discussion between both sides, the town board believes it is in the best interest of everyone to close the matter.
There was input from leading members of the community urging that any issues be resolved in a positive and constructive manner. This improved communication revealed that Mr. Penny had been actively investigating when to leave his position for several months. While the long-time employee has not submitted a letter of resignation, the Town Board is not interested in interfering with a timetable of Mr. Penny’s choosing.
The Penny family is expressing their gratitude and a sense of being overwhelmed, by the number of calls from citizens and members of other agencies that have flooded their home phone. The messages all include words of encouragement and thanks for their time spent with Mr. Penny and the work that has been done during his long tenure.
The Town is echoing many of the sentiments voiced by members of the public. Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson noted the nearly three decades of dedicated service to the Town of East Hampton by Larry. His efforts to preserve the natural resources of the Town have had a direct impact on the quality of life of the residents of the Town. The Supervisor acknowledged the controversy that has just been resolved, while there may have been differences and disagreements over certain issues, the Town never doubted Larry’s commitment to preservation efforts.
Mr. Penny, while not setting a date for retirement, did have hopes for the qualities that would be part of the search criteria for a successor. “I hope the next man or woman is a scientist/naturalist interested in doing justice for nature and the environment. All through the years people wondered why I never caved to the pressure and criticism—my only secret was remembering all the people making demands is really a measurement of my department’s success. Everyone believes adding their voice to the controversy of the day not only make a difference, but might make the difference.”
Given that a person’s plans for his or her career and record of employment, even for a civil servant, is still a private matter by law and custom. The Town and Mr. Penny hope that members of the press and public respect that desire for privacy and understand further comments will be limited, if there are any necessary comments to be made at all.
Attorney Thomas Horn is a member of the national attorney network on LawyerCentral.com.