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Ex-shelter director appointed to $98G job

A year after she was reassigned after the release of an old video that purports to show her and other animal shelter employees taunting a kitten about to be euthanized, Patricia Horan has been appointed to a job supervising a custodial staff for the Town of Hempstead.

The former acting animal shelter director, who received a salary of $95,959 as a kennel supervisor II, was reassigned to the supervisory post within the Department of General Services in March 2011 after the 17-year-old video surfaced on the Internet.

The town board approved a resolution Tuesday to formally make Horan an engineering helper, a noncompetitive civil service post that doesn't require an exam. The appointment was retroactive to May 23. She will oversee more than two dozen employees and earn $97,959 annually.

Felix Procacci of Franklin Square, a frequent critic of the town's spending, questioned the appointment at Tuesday's meeting. "Pat Horan is a 97K custodian that they can't get rid of because she may start squealing and mess up their whole patronage mill," he said in an email Wednesday.

Town officials did not respond to Procacci's comments, other than to say that Horan is a supervisor, not a custodian.

Horan has taken civil service exams to secure promotions and has worked with the town for more than 30 years, entitling her to steadily higher pay, town officials said.

The shelter has been under investigation by the Nassau County district attorney's office since October 2010, while Horan worked there but before she became director. Town officials have said the probe does not involve animal abuse. The investigation is nearly complete, a district attorney spokesman said.

The New York State comptroller's office is auditing the shelter's finances.

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