Fred Thiele Steps Down from Sag Harbor Village Attorney Post

Fred W. Thiele Jr.
Fred W. Thiele Jr.
Fred W. Thiele Jr.

By Kathryn G. Menu

On Monday, Fred W. Thiele, Jr. stepped down as the village attorney for the Sag Harbor Board of Trustees, effective immediately.

The news came just one day before a revised residential zoning code including new gross floor area limitations for new and renovated homes — a code drafted by Mr. Thiele — was up for public hearing during the board’s Tuesday, April 12 session. It was also announced this week that longtime village environmental planning consultant Richard Warren asked the board not to renew his contract after May 31, citing health reasons.

“As you know, we’ve been the village’s consultants for the past 11 years — since 2005 — assisting the various administrations and regulatory boards with both the review of applications as well as with special projects,” wrote Mr. Warren in a letter submitted to the village on April 6. “It has been our privilege to have worked for the village, and we are proud of the services we have provided. I hope that over the years you have found our services to have met your expectations and needs.”

On Monday, Mr. Thiele — who is a New York State Assemblyman — said he has been considering leaving the position for some time now, but decided to exit this spring in tandem with the departure of Mr. Warren, whose firm Inter-Science Research Associates has worked as the village’s planning department for close to a dozen years.

Discussions about hiring a new attorney to cover the planning board and historic preservation and architectural review boards in Sag Harbor also played a factor in Mr. Thiele’s decision.

“Basically, it is something I have been thinking about for awhile now, and the fact that Rich was leaving was certainly, because we work so close together, it seemed like the right time,” said Mr. Thiele on Monday afternoon. “Unlike Rich, I have personal obligations with the Assembly and at home, that make it impossible for me to continue now. I would have liked to stay longer.”

Mr. Thiele’s wife, assistant East Hampton Town attorney NancyLynn Schurr Thiele, suffered a broken leg earlier this year and is still recovering, he noted.

Mr. Thiele has served as village attorney for seven years, originally hired by former mayor Gregory Ferraris. His salary was $52,500.

He has also served as New York State Assemblyman since 1995, and will seek re-election this fall.

On Wednesday, Mayor Sandra Schroeder said the board would convene once trustee Ed Deyermond returns from a trip overseas to discuss options for both a new village attorney and planning consultant. Both Ms. Schroeder and village attorney Denise Schoen confirmed Ms. Schoen retains her position as the attorney for the Harbor Committee, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, for the building department and as a prosecutor for the village.

“I am sad to see him leave,” said Ms. Schroeder of Mr. Thiele. “He has done wonderful things for the village, for the towns, for the county and for the state. He will be missed and I wish this was different.”

“It is going to be very hard for me to do my job without Rich Warren, and the same goes for Fred,” said Ms. Schoen on Tuesday. “We covered different boards, but we worked together on a number of big picture items, and I will not have that support system until we have a new village attorney. I wish that person the best of luck and hope we have someone who is truly up for the task.”



  1. Is that all there is?

    And so, the leading actors in the biggest village production, with the most controversial script in years, and SRO audiences, fail to show for the final act. Tonight’s performance – Hamlet without the Prince!