Court rejects North Hempstead appeal in park district lawsuit
GalleriesNorth Hempstead Town elected officials
In a dispute over Nassau County's authority to audit a North Hempstead special district -- a power courts have upheld -- the state Court of Appeals has declined to hear another town appeal.
Yet the issue is largely moot. North Hempstead officials said in May that the town was submitting to an audit of New Hyde Park's Clinton G. Martin Park District. Residents had alleged that funds in the district were misallocated, fueling the 2011 audit request that, until now, was stalled in the courts.
Supervisor Jon Kaiman said the town plans no further appeal.
The ruling this week caps a two-year saga between Kaiman, a Democrat, and the office of Comptroller George Maragos, a Republican.
At one point last spring, Maragos' office accused Kaiman of practicing a "political stunt," while Kaiman called proceedings a "political circus."
The town is audited internally and independently, Kaiman said this past spring, suggesting the town auditor speak with county officials.
But in May, after the state Court of Appeals denied an automatic appeal request, and after two lower courts had ruled against the town, Kaiman said he was no longer resisting the county's audit.
Kaiman said Monday that while he accepts the rulings, he agreed the prospect of a county auditing a town set a dangerous precedent.
"As a matter of policy we thought it was worth exploring," Kaiman said. "Maybe it will end up before the courts again in some different variation."
"From our end, we've expected this from the beginning, so we're just going to proceed," said Maragos spokesman Jostyn Hernandez. He said auditors are "in the process" of reviews.