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New NIFA member says he'd recuse himself where appropriate

Paul Annunziato, an investment advisor for Morgan Stanley, on Wednesday said he could not comment on his appointment by the governor to Nassau’s financial control board without the firm's approval.

Friday, he responded by email to Newsday’s questions about his new unpaid position on the board of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority:

“I am grateful for the opportunity to be an extra set of eyes and ears for Nassau County's hardworking taxpayers,” he wrote. “I consider this appointment an opportunity to act in such a way that I will validate the trust that has been placed in me. Watching from a distance and remaining silent when important decisions are contemplated was not the way my parents raised me. Thomas Jefferson's quote best describes my feelings about this opportunity, 'All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.'"

Annunziato, a Republican from Locust Valley, said his plans are simple. “Be as informed on every issue to the best of my ability, remain open-minded and listen to opposing opinions, and most importantly, act in good conscience for the benefit of Nassau County residents with the overall goal of the County's annual revenue equaling its annual expenditures on a recurring basis.”

Asked if he saw any potential conflict because Morgan Stanley is brokering Nassau's proposed sewer facility sale, he said, “If an item is brought to NIFA, which directly involves Morgan Stanley and an existing or possible conflict of interest exists, I will recuse myself on all matters related to the same.”

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