Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

While top Suffolk aide Regina Calcaterra takes a leave of absence so that she can probe Long Island Power Authority's and other utilities' balky response to superstorm Sandy for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, County Attorney Dennis Cohen has stepped in as chief deputy county executive.

Cohen’s chief deputy, Paul Margiotta, is filling in as acting county attorney even though he also remains acting director of labor relations.

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Cohen is getting no increase in $160,721 annual pay, but he has moved into what was formerly a conference room right next to County Executive Steve Bellone’s office, much closer than Calcaterra’s corner office. During the Levy administration, Cohen’s new office was used by chief deputies Kevin Law, James Morgo and Christopher Kent.

Her state assignment has created a buzz throughout county government over whether Calcaterra, who critics say can be harsh, will return to county government.

Jon Schneider, deputy county executive, tried to tamp down such talk. “She’s on a leave of absence that lasts from Nov. 21 to Jan. 15 at the request of the governor,” he said.