Frank Tantone rehired as Islandia attorney
Tantone, a lawyer in private practice, was reappointed by a unanimous board vote Tuesday night to a one-year term as the village's prosecuting attorney -- a post he's held since 2010.
Village Mayor Allan M. Dorman said after Tuesday's meeting that Tantone is paid $250 hourly to represent the village during its monthly night court, which prosecutes code enforcement and some traffic violations. Dorman said he was unsure what Tantone earns annually, but said he does not receive paid benefits.
"He's good at what he does," said Dorman, a registered Republican who runs for elected office with the Volunteers of Islandia Party. "He's a smart guy."
Tantone said he typically bills the village for 90 minutes of work monthly -- the average court session -- which would equal about $4,500 annually.
Tantone, who last year decided against taking a $55,000 job to consult with the Islip Planning Board amid resident complaints after the town board raised taxes 28 percent, said he has neither campaigned for Dorman nor donated to his campaign.
Tantone said his committee has no control over who runs for elected office in Islandia.
"When it [the attorney job] was open, I put in for it," Tantone, of Ronkonkoma, said Wednesday. "I have no authority over Allan Dorman."
Tantone has close political ties with Republican Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci, who hired Tantone's niece to work on the town payroll.
Venessa Rotondi has worked as a neighborhood aide in the town's Office of Communications and Media Relations since Feb. 15, 2012, being paid $39,000 annually, town officials confirmed Wednesday.
Tantone said while Croci was aware of the relationship, it played no role in her hiring.
"Venessa is a wonderful, qualified asset to our Town, is extremely dedicated to the improvement of our Animal Shelter, and I am glad she is part of my team," Croci said in a statement.
Other Tantone relatives on the public payroll are his wife, Claudia Tantone, a district director for State Sen. Philip Boyle (R-Bay Shore). His son, Frank J. Tantone, works for Assemb. Andrew Garbarino (R-Sayville).