A chastened Legis. Wayne Horsley (D-Babylon) admitted last week that he may have gone too far in carrying the water for the Bellone administration on the appointment of former Presiding Officer Paul Tonna to the Suffolk Industrial Development Agency board.
While IDA appointments are a legislative prerogative, it was clear that Tonna was County Executive Steve Bellone’s choice, even though Horsley sponsored his resolution.
“I was offended by what was done,” said Legis. Kate Browning (WFP-Shirley), during the debate, noting that lawmakers should have an open process, where they conduct interviews and “pick the right person” on their own.
Horsley, deputy presiding officer with aspirations, acknowledged the issue had come up earlier in the Democratic caucus and Browning was “absolutely right.” But he defended his move because there was a vacancy that needed to be filled and Presiding Officer William Lindsay (D-Holbrook) supported the appointment. “In the future,” he promised, “That will not happen.”
Browning, however, was not satisfied. "this was not a legislative appointment, it was one dictated by Bellone," she said.