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Friday, September 11, 2015

Dennis Vacco
SOMERSET — The Town of Somerset board has hired an attorney to represent the town in its fight with New York State over the Lighthouse Wind Project.

According to Supervisor Dan Engert, the town selected Dennis C. Vacco, Esq. and the law firm of Lippes, Mathias, Wexler Friedman LLP to represent them.

Engert explained that the town has taken "a very active approach with the proposed Lighthouse Wind Project by listening carefully to Town Residents through various avenues including Town Board meetings, a survey, extensive door to door outreach and establishing an Ad Hoc Advisory Committee to review our existing local law."

When officials were certain that the majority of the town residents were opposed to the project, they decided that "specialized outside legal counsel with extensive litigation, state agency, constitutional, environmental and energy experience would be needed to defend the Town throughout the application process in order to defend the Town’s interest and the will of the overwhelming majority of Town residents."

Vacco was selected by Engert and Town Attorney Michael J. Norris, who they say is the "most qualified, most suited attorney and law firm who has a unique background to defend and fight for the Towns municipal rights and one who has a strong reputation and legal mind to confront the siting board and state agencies throughout the Article 10 process step by step."

Vacco is the formerly elected Attorney General of the State of New York who has successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court. He is also the former United States Attorney for the Western District of New York appointed by President Ronald Reagan.

Engert said, his "connection with and understanding of Western New York with regards to our Great Lakes, bird migration patterns, special landscape and state regulatory matters, coupled with his extensive legal background as the former New York State Attorney General, makes him the perfect individual to advocate for the people of the Town of Somerset and fight for our interests in the battles that surely lie ahead."


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