Town consultant probed during police job

Public Safety Consultant Andrew Mel Kenny

Public Safety Consultant Andrew Mel Kenny Photo Credit: Town of Oyster Bay/Handout

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A former Nassau County police administrator, who weathered investigations about his conduct and retired with a $376,447 accrued-time payout, works as a consultant to Oyster Bay's Public Safety Department.

Andrew Mel Kenny, 72, of Farmingdale, left county employment in 2000 as a Second Deputy Police Commissioner. His Oyster Bay contract, approved by town board resolution in September, will pay him as much as $50,000 through August, when he becomes eligible for two one-year renewals.

The consulting job had been previously held by Kenny's former boss, ex-Nassau Police Commissioner Donald Kane, but had been vacant for more than a year after Kane died in June 2009.

The department has four full-time public safety supervisors, but the consultant serves a unique role, Town Supervisor John Venditto said. Kenny's experience allows him to be a liaison to Nassau police -- from a point of authority and expertise -- on behalf of Oyster Bay, the supervisor said.

"He's a guy who knows both worlds," Venditto said. "We want to make sure [police and public safety officers] don't get in each other's way. We don't want them to step on each other's toes."

Kenny said he has helped the town assess security threats at its facilities and develop plans to protect parks, athletic centers and parking garages when large crowds congregate.

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"It's just an enormous amount of activity," Kenny said of the department's responsibilities.

Kenny, who teaches criminal justice at Farmingdale State College, came "highly recommended" by several ranking town employees, Venditto said.

While in the police department, Kenny was the subject of several inquiries. In the late 1980s, he led the Fifth precinct when officers were accused of taking Teddy bears donated for needy children. After saying he had no knowledge of the incident, he received a one-day fine and was transferred to oversee the Sixth precinct.

An internal police investigation also reviewed allegations Kenny gave his daughter a ticket confiscated from a scalper outside a 1989 Billy Joel concert at Nassau Coliseum. He denied using the ticket, and the probe's resolution was never publicized.

In 1996, several officers were disciplined for changing a report about an auto accident involving Kenny, who was deputy commissioner at the time. He denied directing the officers to do so, and was cleared of wrongdoing.

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