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Union leader John T. Ahern joins Nassau IDA

Union leader John T. Ahern has been appointed to the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency's board of directors.

Ahern, of Westbury, is business manager of Local 30 of the International Union of Operating Engineers and a former president of the New York City Central Labor Council. He also is a trustee of Molloy College in Rockville Centre.

Ahern's appointment brings the IDA board's membership to five; a maximum of seven members is permitted.

He is the second union executive on the board. The Suffolk IDA's board also has two union leaders as members.

Joseph J. Kearney, executive director of the Nassau IDA, said Ahern "brings a wealth of experience. His reputation in the labor community is above reproach."

Ahern led the city labor council for two years but resigned abruptly in March 2011 after the operating engineers' national president accused Ahern of engaging in improper overspending on meals and personal expenses. Ahern was ordered to reimburse Local 30.

At the time, Ahern said his resignation from the council was because of "personal differences."

Ahern, 59, was nominated for the IDA post by Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and unanimously confirmed by the County Legislature last month.

"Jack Ahern was recommended by Nassau's labor council to fill the nonpaying, noncompensated position on the Industrial Development Agency," said Mangano spokeswoman Katie Grilli-Robles. "His efforts to help create and retain local jobs are welcomed by the board."

Ahern Wednesday did not respond to a request for comment.

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