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Dems blast Mangano for hiring upstate attorney

Even before they take power, Nassau Republicans have broken a campaign promise by hiring an upstater as the county attorney, Democrats said yesterday.

Incoming County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican, said Monday that he was appointing John Ciampoli, a GOP election lawyer from Kinderhook, about 18 miles south of Albany, to the county's top legal job.

But Jay Jacobs, the Nassau County and state Democratic chairman, said yesterday: "We should be moving ahead to better days, not going back to the bad old days of Republican machine party politics."

During the campaign, Mangano criticized incumbent Democrat Thomas Suozzi for hiring nonresidents for top county jobs.

"Ed Mangano will discontinue Tom Suozzi's ill-conceived policy of hiring nonresidents to highly-paid county positions," Mangano's political blog stated. "Nassau County residents deserve policymakers who are subject to their own fees and taxes."

The Ciampoli appointment was "the height of hypocrisy" and "the first GOP broken campaign promise," Jacobs said.

Mangano did not return a telephone call for comment yesterday. Aides working on his transition released a statement calling Ciampoli "a great lawyer who is ready to help Ed put the county back on track."

"John grew up in Floral Park, graduated Hofstra Law School and intends to move back to his home county - Nassau County," the statement said. "It's time for all to understand that the election is over. The people want the partisan bickering to stop so that we can all work together for a better Nassau County."

Ciampoli, who will be responsible for all litigation involving the county, was the third major appointment by Mangano, following the hiring of Long Island Power Authority financial official Timothy Sullivan as the top deputy for budget and finance last week, and the appointment of Assemb. Rob Walker (R-Hicksville), his campaign manager, as chief deputy county executive.

The issue of hiring non-county residents has been kicked around for years by lawmakers. About a year ago, the Republican minority leader of the county legislature, Peter Schmitt of Massapequa, criticized Suozzi for hiring Ted Jankowski, a New Hampshire resident, as county tax assessor.

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