Nassau Dems decry Haber mailer on Suozzi environmental record

Left, Adam Haber, Democratic candidate for Nassau County

Left, Adam Haber, Democratic candidate for Nassau County executive, greets commuters in Great Neck. Right, candidate Thomas Suozzi. (April 25, 2013) (Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Nassau Democratic leaders criticized county executive candidate Adam Haber Wednesday for a mailer attacking party-endorsed candidate Thomas Suozzi's environmental record.

Suozzi, a former two-term county executive, will take on Haber, a businessman and Roslyn school board member, in the Sept. 10 Democratic primary. The winner will challenge Republican County Executive Edward Mangano in November.

Haber's mailing attacks Suozzi, saying he failed to adequately remove "lethal levels of chemicals" from a former dump site in Glen Cove known as Captain's Cove.

In 2001, Suozzi, then the mayor of Glen Cove, was seeking developers to build a waterfront hotel on the site. To make the project economically feasible, he negotiated a deal with the state allowing a higher level of nickel in the soil than is typically allowed. As an added level of protection, the city added 2 feet of clean top soil to the site.

The cleanup project ended in 2005, but the hotel development has yet to materialize.

The mailing also alleges that Suozzi mismanaged Nassau sewage treatment plants while he was county executive, setting the stage for a sewage spill at the Bay Park plant in October 2010 under the current administration of Republican County Executive Edward Mangano

"While Tom Suozzi was busy taking care of his cronies and campaign donors, he was ruining the environment in Nassau County," the mailing states.

But Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs said Suozzi was the New York League of Conservation Voters' environmentalist of the year in 2008. Jacobs called Haber " a desperate candidate who will say anything to try to gain traction this election."

Suozzi and Haber are scheduled to debate Sept. 3 from 7 to 7:30 p.m. on News 12 Long Island. But Haber, who has sought more debates, criticized Suozzi for not agreeing to appear at Friday's Lakeview forum.

Suozzi's campaign confirmed he didn't plan to attend the forum but declined to comment on Haber's statement.

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