Officials: Robert Meguin, former Suffolk consumer affairs chief, ousted
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The Bellone administration has fired Robert Meguin, who headed Suffolk's consumer affairs unit -- physically removing him from office Friday along with his belongings after two years on the job.
Meguin, 65, was the $105,653-a-year chief deputy of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Consumer Affairs, formed in a cost-cutting merger last year.
He previously served as consumer affairs commissioner in a separate department.
Vanessa Baird-Streeter, spokeswoman for County Executive Steve Bellone, declined to comment on the reasons for the firing, calling it "a personnel matter" that could not be discussed.
Meguin did not return calls to his home Tuesday. He is a longtime Democratic activist in Southold and Babylon.
Legis. John M. Kennedy Jr. (R-Nesconet), the minority leader, lamented Meguin's ouster, saying "he was always at work, engaged and seemed pretty hands-on."
Kennedy said the department is chronically short-staffed, even though it produces substantial revenue for the county and protects consumers.
He questioned whether the firing had to do with reports of friction between Bellone and Richard Schaffer, Suffolk Democratic chairman and Babylon Town supervisor.
Schaffer said there is "no issue" between himself and the county executive, and that Meguin's firing has "no connection" to politics.
Several sources said Meguin was occasionally confrontational with others.
Before taking the consumer post, Meguin ran a losing race for Southold Town supervisor in 2011. A former longtime judicial law clerk, he also ran unsuccessfully four times for judge.
Meguin served as Babylon's director of finance for two years.