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Get a New Lawyer – Letter to the Editor, East Hampton Star, May 5, 2015

Dear David,

Now that the town has finally taken some modest action to curb airport noise — and is under attack in federal court by the New Jersey-based helicopter companies (allied with Ben Krupinski’s Sound Aircraft Services) — the question has to be asked: Why is the attorney Peter Kirsch still representing East Hampton in aviation matters?

This man has been wrong in just about everything significant that he has advised the town on over the course of nearly a decade. Not only has his advice been consistently bad, he has often contradicted himself. His history as an aviation litigator? He lost to the Federal Aviation Administration on the critical legal issue in the Naples airport litigation.

The helicopter companies now suing the town have incorporated in their legal papers one of Kirsch’s public presentations to East Hampton. They are using the public statements of Kirsch to make their case against us. You can’t make this stuff up.

Also ignored by the current town board and supervisor is that not so long ago Kirsch accompanied Councilman Dominick Stanzione on an unauthorized trip to Washington, D.C., to lobby the F.A.A. They were trying to get another F.A.A. grant that would have prevented the town from adopting airport noise rules for 20 more years. Kirsch then hid Stanzione’s unauthorized travel expenses in one of Kirsch’s legal bills. How can this be reconciled with the ethical requirement that a lawyer not “engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation”? Yet he remains East Hampton’s highly compensated attorney.

Several citizens have called for the town board to get a new lawyer to represent us in this critical environmental battle. Kirsch is surely not the best person to lead us in our “fight” to control our own airport. Or perhaps the board doesn’t really want to control it anyway.

BARRY RAEBECK

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