N.Y. CNT. LAW § 501 : NY Code - Section 501: Duties

Search N.Y. CNT. LAW § 501 : NY Code - Section 501: Duties

1. The county attorney shall be the legal advisor to
  the board of supervisors and every officer whose  compensation  is  paid
  from  county  funds  in all matters involving an official act of a civil
  nature. The county attorney shall prosecute and defend all civil actions
  and  proceedings  brought  by  or  against  the  county,  the  board  of
  supervisors and any officer whose compensation is paid from county funds
  for  any  official  act, except as otherwise provided by this chapter or
  other law. Within the limits of the appropriation, the  county  attorney
  may  employ  counsel to assist in any civil action or proceeding brought
  by or against the county or any county officer in his official capacity.
  Upon the appointment of a county attorney no consent  or  order  of  the
  court shall be necessary to effect a substitution of attorneys.
    2.  Whenever  the  interests of the board of supervisors or the county
  are inconsistent with the interests of any officer paid his compensation
  from county funds, the county attorney shall represent the interests  of
  the  board  of  supervisors and the county. In such case the officer may
  employ an attorney-at-law at his own expense unless  the  provisions  of
  section eighteen of the public officers law are applicable.
    3.  The  county  attorney  shall  perform  such additional and related
  duties as may be  prescribed  by  law  and  directed  by  the  board  of
  supervisors.
    4.  The  board  of  supervisors  may  include  in  such directions the
  rendering of advice and service to town boards and  town  officers  when
  not  in  conflict with the interests of the county, board of supervisors
  or an officer whose compensation is paid from county funds.
    5. The board of supervisors may create the  position  of  confidential
  secretary  to  the county attorney. Such position shall be in the exempt
  class of the civil service.  The  county  attorney  shall  appoint  such
  confidential secretary, who shall serve at his pleasure.