Charles Theofan, former Long Beach city manager, dies at 61

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano appointed Charles Theofan,

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano appointed Charles Theofan, seen in an undated photo, as one of his deputy county executives in March 2012.

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Nassau Deputy County Executive Charles Theofan, a former Long Beach city manager, died Thursday night at age 61 after battling lung cancer.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, who appointed Theofan as one of his top aides in March 2012, announced his passing Friday morning.

"A dedicated public servant, Charles assisted in response and recovery efforts during superstorm Sandy," Mangano said in a statement. "[He] helped pave the way for a public-private partnership that will transform the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum into a first-class arena for residents."

Mangano tasked Theofan with overseeing the county attorney, community development, housing and planning offices -- his appointment followed more than two decades working in local government.

Theofan, a Republican and resident of Freeport, served as Long Beach city manager from 2004 to 2005 and from 2008 to 2011 when Republicans controlled the board. He also served the city in other roles, including acting fire commissioner, tax assessor, corporation counsel and counsel to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

He also served as commissioner of the Town of Hempstead Planning and Development Department in 2006.

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"He loved the minutiae of government, he loved dealing with people," said Jim Moriarty, chairman of the Long Beach Republican Committee and a friend of Theofan's for more than 30 years.

"He was a guy who was great for detail," Moriarty said. "He could reach in his memory and remember things, issues and people that many of us had long forgotten."

Long Beach officials devoted a section of the city's website Friday to Theofan, posting a statement that read "on behalf of the entire City, the City Council, and the City Manager, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends" of Theofan.

Jim Hennessy, who served as Long Beach City Council president from 2004 to 2006, recalled hiring Theofan as city manager because of his experience working with the Village of Hempstead on redevelopment efforts.

"The biggest issue we were facing in the City of Long Beach was over development," Hennessy said. "We thought he was the perfect person to fight against overdevelopment."

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Theofan is survived by his wife of 25 years, Gale, and their son, Henry, 23.

"He was my hero, my inspiration, my role model, my mentor," Henry Theofan said in a phone interview. "His work was a big part of his life, but his family was also a big part of his life."

A funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at the Christopher T. Jordan Funeral Home, 302 Long Beach Rd. in Island Park.

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