Bellone, DeMarco meet about hiring dispute

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Suffolk Sheriff Vincent DeMarco and County Executive Steve Bellone met for nearly two hours late Friday afternoon about filling 18 deputy vacancies in the sheriff's office, but the county executive gave no immediate answer on how many jobs he might allow to be filled.

DeMarco said Bellone told him to resubmit hiring forms for the vacancies, and said he would give him an answer Monday.

“We made our case . . . and we’ll see what happens,” said DeMarco, who still held out the possibility of pursuing hiring through a legislative resolution that would go before the budget committee on Tuesday.

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Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Amityville), who called the meeting that was held in Bellone’s office, said “the best thing was that there was a dialogue. There was a lack of conversation up to this point and where there is a lack of communication, frustrations build up on both sides.” Gregory expressed confidence that “some middle ground” could be found.

Deputy County Executive Jon Schneider called the meeting “very productive,” but said Bellone “wanted time over the weekend to analyze the information that came across and we hope to resolve the situation shortly.”

The meeting came after Legis. John Kennedy (R-Nesconset) filed a resolution which would permit DeMarco, as a countywide elected official, to fill the vacancies because there is money in his budget to pay for it. Bellone last month rejected DeMarco’s request to fill the jobs.

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