LIPA has appointed a chief of staff as its chief executive plans to depart Monday and his replacement has not yet been hired.

Chief financial officer Tom Falcone, who joined the authority in January 2014, will take the chief of staff role, which hasn't been filled since Edward Grilli left the post in 2007 under then-CEO Richard Kessel.

The move makes Falcone the point person at LIPA for some top-level responsibilities as CEO John McMahon prepares to leave the authority Monday. A committee of LIPA's board has said it is conducting a search for a new CEO, but the appointment has always been filled by governors.

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Falcone has been one of four people on the unofficial candidate list to become permanent CEO. The others are LIPA board members Mark Fischl and Matthew Cordaro and Department of Public Service Long Island director Julia Bovey, sources said.

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LIPA spokesman Sid Nathan said naming Falcone chief of staff was McMahon's way of "making sure internal staff assignments were properly followed up and any emerging issues had project managers." He said Falcone, who last year was paid $228,846, would receive no pay increase.

Meanwhile, LIPA is preparing to hire an ethics officer, in line with a mandate by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to fill this post at all state agencies. LIPA, which has about 40 employees, will pay the salary for the post.