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Confusion delays selection of Nassau's rep on MTA board

Bureaucratic confusion may be responsible for a lengthy delay in selecting Nassau County's representative to serve on the MTA board.

Aides to Nassau Executive Edward Mangano have said for months that they sent Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo a list of three candidates in June of last year.

But Cuomo administration officials said Tuesday they never received the list, and that they began reviewing Mangano's recommendations only after they were submitted last week.

Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin supplied Newsday with a copy of the June 12, 2012, letter to Cuomo, which indicates that the document was to be sent by first-class mail and by fax. Nevin, who has told Newsday on at least three occasions that the list of candidates had been submitted, did not respond to questions about why the letter was not received.

A copy of the letter also was to be sent to Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre). Skelos' office could not immediately verify receipt of the letter.

In a statement, Mangano said he expects the state to make an appointment to the board before the State Legislature adjourns in June. The Senate must approve the selection.

"Either someone is lying or this is bureaucracy of the worst order," said Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick), who held an April 5 news conference calling on Cuomo and Mangano to make a selection to the board. "And Nassau residents are the ones losing out because we have not had a representative to the board even as critical issues such as fare hikes and capital funding have been discussed."

Nassau's seat on the 21-member board has been vacant since December 2011 when Patrick Foye left to become executive director of the Port Authority.

Mangano's nominees include David Mack, a Kings Point real estate developer and former MTA board member who resigned from the seat in 2009 after Gov. David A. Paterson called on him to step down.

Paterson's move came after then-Attorney General Cuomo issued a report that found Mack had refused to cooperate with investigators who were probing alleged political influence within the State Police. Mack said after his resignation that he had "diligently and faithfully done my utmost to serve all of the stakeholders involved."

Mack, who holds an honorary title of assistant commissioner with the Nassau County Police Department, did not respond to requests for comment.

Two sources said Skelos has lobbied for Mack to be appointed to the board. Skelos spokesman Scott Reif declined to comment, citing the ongoing review process.

The other candidates are Edward Powers, the Town of Hempstead's director of emergency relations, and John Molloy, retired chairman and CEO of H2M, an engineering and architectural firm in Melville.

"I know the [subway] system and use the system," said Molloy, 67, of Wantagh. "And I have a background in engineering, finance and budgeting.

Powers, a New Hyde Park resident who previously served as the manager of revenue collection for MTA Long Island Bus, did not respond to a request for comment.

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