Spin Cycle

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

Republicans on the Nassau County Legislature looked they were going to approve a new county attorney with nary a word about the six-figure federal tax lien pending against him.


The Republican presiding officer, Peter Schmitt of Massapequa, never brought up the active lien for $118,000, and one satisfied lien of $223,100 from 2002, against John Ciampoli, the candidate put forward by Republican County Executive Edward Mangano.


Schmitt didn’t raise the issue last week in the Rules Committee, which he chairs, nor before the full legislature at its meeting Monday. (See story here.)

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Then, just minutes before Ciampoli was approved, Republican Legis. Francis Becker of Lynbrook broached the topic, and hinted that his fellow Republicans also had their doubts, although they remained silent on the topic. His comments follow, (as best as could be heard over the lousy sound system in the chamber):


“What I see, the liens, they bother me a great deal — not just me, but a lot of us....I’m going to overlook that part of my concern and support your nomination for this position.


“But I do ask you, as has been mentioned before, you are an example to other people in the county. They’re coming before you, may have liens or other problems, and I believe that as a person who holds public office — you’re not an elected official, but you do represent us — and I think it’s good for you to show a great example.


“I personally ask you clean up all these things as quickly as you can. And if you have to, hire a personal financial manager for those sort of things so that you can do them and not needlessly create your own undue anxiety you’ve created here to some degree.


“From speaking to you, through this process, you’ve impressed me with your ideas and your vision. No question you’re a hardworking man. As I said, I have some reservations but I’m going to look beyond those and support your nomination. And I hope for the best, and I do ask you clear up all those issues that are outstanding that somehow diminish your character, but really shouldn’t. OK?”

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Ciampoli replied: “We really are on it already.”