Spin Cycle

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Former Assemb. Edward Hennessey received a more than 50 percent raise when hired as an assistant county attorney earlier this year.

Hennessey, a Shirley Democrat who lost a narrow election in November, became a $78,691-a-year intergovernmental affairs coordinator in January for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. In April, he jumped to his current post representing the county in family court at $121,730 a year.

"He's a fit. There is a need," said County Attorney Dennis Brown. "I understand from his supervisor, he has picked up things well and it all seems to be working out." He said Hennessey represents county agencies in acting Supreme Court Justice Caren LoGuercio's courtroom "almost every day." Hennessey didn't return requests for comment made through the county and his former law practice's office.

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Minority Leader Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst) criticized Bellone for finding jobs for Democratic candidates and political workers. "I never thought that I would feel bad about Democrats losing an election. Now I'm concerned because it seems Steve Bellone has to hire them and their staff," he said.

County spokesman Justin Meyers said, "We hire talented individuals with strong experience and backgrounds in government." He said McCaffrey's caucus and legislative hires "reek of political favoritism and cronyism," though he declined to name names.