2 Islip public safety officials resign

Islip Town Hall on Main Street. (May 10,

Islip Town Hall on Main Street. (May 10, 2007) (Credit: James Carbone)

Two top public safety officials in Islip have resigned from their positions, town officials said.

Department of Public Safety Commissioner Gregory F. Byrne submitted a verbal resignation Wednesday, and his last day of work is planned for Aug. 17. Deputy Commissioner Michael Wasser also resigned Wednesday.

Another deputy commissioner, John J. Carney, a 22-year Islip public safety department veteran, has been named acting commissioner of the 87-employee department, which oversees code enforcement, emergency management, the fire marshal's office, parking violations and the Harbor Police.

Byrne's annual salary was $90,000. Wasser's was $29,990 because he was earning a pension from the NYPD, making him ineligible, according to state law, to earn more than $30,000 in a public-sector job, officials said.

Carney, who earns $80,000 annually, will maintain his current salary.

Both Byrne and Wasser were brought on in recent months by newly elected Supervisor Tom Croci. Byrne, who retired in 2011 from the Suffolk County Police Department as a detective lieutenant and commanding officer of the special victims unit, began work in Islip in January; Wasser, a veteran of the New York Police Department, started his tenure in April.

They each declined to comment through a spokeswoman.

Croci said the resignations were not unexpected as both were retirees from their respective former departments and were only expected to work in Islip during the transitional period. When they came in, the department faced issues with collecting fines and was generally disorganized, Croci said.

"We were extremely fortunate to have Commissioner Byrne come right out of retirement with no break to come into a very chaotic and broken organization and bring professionalism and teamwork to the department . . . We wish him very much happiness in his true retirement."

Croci said he expected the Town Board to conduct a search for a new commissioner "at some point," adding that there would be no rush.

"We're in good shape and in good hands with acting Commissioner John Carney," Croci said.

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