Spin Cycle

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Attorney John Ciampoli, a veteran of many political battles, showed up with some legal help Monday when his nomination as Nassau County attorney was considered by the Rules Committee of the county legislature.

Joseph Nocella, counsel to Republican County Executive Edward Mangano, sat in the front row of the legislative chamber in Mineola, and a half dozen deputy county attorneys were scattered around the room.

Not to worry. Ciampoli, a longtime legal adviser to Republicans, breezed through the committee.

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The Republican majority provided the four votes needed to approve him, and did not even bring up an eight year-old federal tax lien, since resolved, and a another federal tax lien from last year that is still pending. (Ciampoli said he was seriously ill around the time of the 2002 lien, and the current one will be lifted soon.)

Democratic Minority Leader Diane Yatauro of Glen Cove asked Ciampoli about the liens, but did not press him on the issue. She and the other two Democrats on the Rules Committee, Kevan Abrahams of Hempstead and Judy Jacobs of Woodbury, voted against the nomination, but gave no reason. The full legislature will consider the nomination at its meeting next Monday.

Democratic staffers had suggested privately before the hearing that they would give Ciampoli a tough time, but Yatauro offered no criticism and Abrahams and Jacobs did not ask any questions.

Outside the hearing room, a Newsday reporter attempted to ask Ciampoli about the liens and he was in the process of answering when Deputy County Attorney Martha Krisel interrupted to suggest to Ciampoli that he should not talk to the press without clearing it with Mangano’s press office.

That ended the interview.