The head of Nassau County’s financial control board is a longtime adviser to a company seeking to renew its county contract, but says he has no role and receives no compensation related to the pact.
Adam Barsky, who was named chairman of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority in March, is a board adviser to Universal Management Technology Solutions, a Manhattan firm that since 2012 has received two county consulting contracts totaling $165,000 — most recently to help the information technology department conduct a software audit.
That $30,000 agreement was finalized last year, before Barsky started with NIFA. His work for UMS was first raised publicly on Monday, when the county legislature’s Rules Committee considered and tabled a $5,000 amendment to the company’s audit contract.
Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) requested more information after noting that an Adam Barsky was listed in disclosure forms filed with the contract amendment. IT Commissioner Ed Eisenstein at first said he didn’t know if it was the same Barsky.
“It is the same person, but he’s not currently affiliated with the company anymore,” Ken Arnold, a top county public works official, told lawmakers moments later. “That was our understanding.”
Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) backed the tabling of the contract saying, “We need assurance that there’s no conflict of interest,”
Barsky said in an interview Tuesday that he remains an adviser to UMS’ board of directors, and that he disclosed his role to the county and NIFA upon his appointment to the state authority by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Barsky said he also sent UMS a letter saying he didn’t want to be involved in any conversations related to the company’s work with Nassau, nor did he want to receive any compensation related to it.
Barsky said he was unaware the contract was being amended or coming before the legislature. “I was caught by surprise by this,” he said.
The amendment would not come before NIFA because it falls below its $50,000 threshold requiring the control board’s approval.
Barsky said he is not a company shareholder who receives revenues, and is only paid for attending board meetings.
“I don’t see any conflict. I don’t benefit from any of the work that they do there,” Barsky said of UMS.
Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin said in a statement: “It appears the relationship was properly disclosed in accordance with county policies.”