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Long IslandColumnistsRick Brand

Connie Corso departs as Suffolk budget director

Suffolk Budget Director Connie Corso, after eight years navigating the county’s difficult fiscal shoals, retired Friday from her $170,000-a-year job after 34 years with the county.

Corso, 55, of Shoreham, started with Suffolk at age 21 as an account clerk in the health department. She rose through the ranks until she reached the county’s top appointed fiscal position as deputy county executive for finance in 2009.

Corso later returned to the lower ranking job of budget director in 2011, a post she earlier had held for two years, to gain Civil Service protection. Corso, a Republican, also served as treasurer for former County Executive Steve Levy’s campaign fund near the end of his tenure.

County Executive Steve Bellone, who officiated at Corso’s wedding to Mike DeGiovine last summer, praised Corso as an “exceptional public servant” and “an inspiration to other women who want to climb the ladder to the top of their profession. I’ve been fortunate to have her at my side during some difficult times and she will be very hard to replace.”

Corso has agreed to return part-time to the budget director’s post beginning Tuesday until a replacement is found, said Chief Deputy County Executive Dennis Cohen. Because she has retired, Civil Service officials say she will only be allowed to make $30,000 for the rest of the year and $30,000 next year.

Alan Schneider, Suffolk personnel director, said no competitive exam has been scheduled to fill the budget director’s job, a Civil Service post.

If someone is hired before the test is given he or she will hold the job on a provisional basis and must score among the three highest candidates to be eligible for the permanent position.

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