Glen Cove City Council expected to discuss appointment to vacancy on council Tuesday

Joseph Capobianco

Joseph Capobianco, partner at Garden City-based Reisman Peirez Reisman and Capobianco LLP, is a candidate for Glen Cove City Council.

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Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello plans to discuss his proposed appointment of Republican Joseph Capobianco to a vacancy on the City Council at a meeting Tuesday.

Spinello said he expects the council will vote on Capobianco at its regular meeting next week.

At the end of last month, Republicans nominated attorney Capobianco to run for the City Council seat left vacant by the death of Councilman Nicholas DiLeo, a Democrat, in April. Democrats nominated insurance executive Theresa Moschetta to run for the spot.

The mayor and City Council can appoint a council member to serve until the November election. DiLeo's death left the council with three Republicans and two Democrats.

Spinello said Capobianco's appointment would be discussed in an open session at Tuesday's work session meeting, which the city calls a pre-council meeting.

"The plan is to do it in the open unless there's something that I feel that comes up that's not an item for the public," Spinello said.

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Spinello acknowledged that he had brought up Capobianco's proposed appointment in a closed door session at a pre-council meeting last month.

"I put it into executive session and my opinion was that it was an executive session item," he said.

That may not square with the state open meetings law, which allows officials to enter into executive session only to discuss limited subjects such as filling job vacancies, according to Robert Freeman, executive director of the Committee on Open Government, an agency of the New York Department of State.


Freeman said a state court ruling in 1994 -- Gordon v. Village of Monticello -- held that the filling of a vacancy in an elective office was not among the subjects permitted to be discussed in executive session.

However, the Glen Cove council would only face penalties for improperly going into executive session if someone successfully sued, a state official said.

Spinello, who reviewed Freeman's comments and an advisory opinion on the subject, said he didn't believe there was a "firm decision" on the issue, but said he would nonetheless discuss the proposed appointment in public.

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