Spin Cycle

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

  Democrats criticized Sen. Tom Croci (R-Sayville) Thursday for hiring an Islip official who was acting town supervisor when the dumping scandal at Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood was discovered.

  Republicans called the complaint "ridiculous."

  Earlier this week, Eric Hofmeister announced he will be resigning as Islip's commissioner of environmental control, effective Oct. 2, to take a job as Croci's district director.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

   Hofmeister served as deputy supervisor under Croci, during the latter's tenure as town supervisor and as acting supervisor when Croci, a U.S. Navy commander, was deployed in Afghanistan from 2013 to 2014. Croci was elected to the state Senate last fall.

  Six men, including two former Islip officials, were indicted in December in connection to the dumping scandal, which allegedly involved dumping contaminated fill on Long Island instead of paying to properly dispose of it. Hofmeister hasn't been implicated.

  Senate Democrats blasted Croci for hiring Hofmeister, looking to link the two to the scandal.

  "This brings into question Tom Croci's judgment and his role in this horrific dumping scandal," said Senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy. "First, Croci blamed acting Supervisor Hofmeister. Now, he rewarded him with a taxpayer funded job."

    Croci, upon returning as supervisor, rebuked town leadership for the scandal but didn't single out Hofmeister.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

  "Tom never blamed Eric for anything," said Croci spokeswoman Christine Geed, calling the complaint "bogus, just ridiculous."