Flanagan (R-East Northport) created a stir in Albany when it was disclosed last month that he secretly sought the job as the GOP bloc tries to hold together through the 2010 election, in hopes of regaining the majority it lost by two seats last year.
About 30 applicants have sought the job. The Search panel was made to agree to keep the proceedings secret. Robert Caroppoli, Flanagan's spokesman, declined to comment "because we respect the confidentiality of the process." - Rick Brand