Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice Friday cleared County Executive Edward Mangano of criminal wrongdoing in using county employees to distribute fliers door to door touting his record in office.
However, she recommended the county ethics board, composed of Mangano appointees, review the practice and decide if any action is needed.
Rice, a Democrat running for re-election this fall, said in a letter to the county Board of Ethics that her office had conducted "an extensive investigation" into allegations that Mangano, a Republican seeking re-election, was illegally using taxpayer resources to promote his campaign.
"The results of this investigation fail to provide beyond a reasonable doubt that a violation of criminal law has occurred," she wrote.
County Attorney John Ciampoli, a member of the ethics board, said he had spoken with other members and they agreed to "take up the question and review it." He added Mangano "is fully supportive of such a review."
Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin said Democrats should give up "dirty political stunts" and "get back to governing and join Mangano in fostering a government that doesn't waste taxpayer dollars on frivolous claims."
Michael Florio, the Democrats' legislative spokesman, said, "While it's difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that no criminal law was broken, it is obvious that Mangano has mobilized an army of seasonal employees at taxpayers' expense to carry his message and supplement his political campaign."
Rice began investigating in June when news began circulating on Facebook pages and in emails that Nassau workers had been handing out county-paid fliers in Baldwin. The lead flier featured a photo of Mangano, touted his record on taxes and jobs.
The administration acknowledged then that 10 seasonal employees were distributing "informational" material door to door, likening the outreach program to using a mobile county office or setting up booths in local libraries.