Cuomo rejects Mangano's pick for MTA board

David Mack, vice chairman of the MTA, attends

David Mack, vice chairman of the MTA, attends a meeting at the Manhattan MTA headquarters. (March 21 2006) (Credit: Scout Tufankjian)

Dan Janison

Melville. N.Y. Tuesday January 26, 2010. Daniel Janison, Dan Janison

Dan Janison has been a reporter at Newsday for 10

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After what sources called a futile bid by Nassau Republicans to restore David S. Mack to his former seat on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board, the State Senate last week finally confirmed another candidate, John J. Molloy, to the vacant post.

Thus ended an unusually lengthy and secretive process that left the position of Nassau's board representative open for a year and a half, during which the panel cast key votes.

Anyone could have predicted at the outset that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo would reject County Executive Edward Mangano's recommendation of Mack. As attorney general in 2009, Cuomo issued a report saying Mack, a police buff, refused to cooperate in a probe of the State Police, for which he had been an honorary deputy superintendent. The philanthropic Mack resigned from both the MTA and Port Authority boards.

Still, Mangano sent Mack's name as one of the three he gets to submit to the governor, who ultimately chose Molloy. The other was Ed Powers of Hempstead. Since early 2012, Mack, of the Mack real-estate family, declined to comment other than to say he'd serve the state in whatever way was asked of him.

As bipartisan irony would have it, Mack served on the MTA at the behest of former Democratic County Executive Thomas Suozzi, now seeking to challenge Mangano. Mack, who had been vice chairman and a supporter of ex-Gov. George Pataki, and has been a generous campaign contributor to both major parties, was initially tapped for the board 20 years ago by Suozzi's GOP predecessor, Thomas Gullotta.

The Senate, co-led by top Republican Dean Skelos of Rockville Centre, confirmed Mitchell Pally for a new term on the board, this time as nominee of Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone, along with Thomas Prendergast, Cuomo's choice as CEO and chairman.

As has long been the case, holdovers remain on the MTA board. These now include John Banks and Mark Page, appointees of Mayor Michael Bloomberg; longtime gubernatorial appointee Andrew Saul; and the four members from Putnam, Orange, Rockland and Dutchess counties who share a single board vote.

For the Port Authority board, the Senate also confirmed Cuomo's selection of Basil Paterson, of the Garden City-based law firm Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein and father of ex-Gov. and current MTA board member David A. Paterson.