A veteran Glen Cove councilman who served the city where he was born for several terms died of an apparent heart attack Monday night, colleagues said.
Details of Nicholas DiLeo's death were sketchy Monday night as police released very little information, while colleagues of DiLeo expressed shock and sadness at his abrupt passing.
A businessman who had been in office since 2006, DiLeo, 56, a Democrat, was respected among those with whom he served, friends and colleagues said.
When he was re-elected in November, he ran on the Democratic, Working Families and Glen Cove Voters lines, and his signature issue was eradicating illegal housing.
"The tenants are blamed for living . . . [in illegal housing] when in reality it is the landlords," he told Newsday during his most recent campaign. "I would like to see our code enforcement department step up for those who are under the radar . . . Tenants shouldn't be responsible. We are doing everything we possibly can but we can always do more."
He also served as an official at St. Rocco's Church in Glen Cove.
"Good guy, funny guy, too," Councilman Michael Famiglietti, said of him, adding DiLeo had not been feeling well during the past few days and suffered a heart attack while at home. He later died at Glen Cove Hospital.
Famiglietti remembers DiLeo's dedication to Glen Cove, adding that he was a sharp businessman who did well in the insurance industry.
"He just wanted to do what's best for the community," Famiglietti said.
Other longtime elected members of city government declined to comment, saying they were too distraught.
"The thing that impressed me the most about Nick is that his family came first," Famiglietti said. "He was the ultimate family man. He had just been blessed to have a second grandchild and he was the happiest man in the world."