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Former Hempstead Village Mayor James Garner named Nassau's chief deputy comptroller

James Garner is seen in this undated photo.

James Garner is seen in this undated photo. Credit: Handout

Former Hempstead Village Mayor James Garner has been promoted to Nassau County's chief deputy comptroller, Comptroller George Maragos has announced.

Since 2011, Garner had been working as Nassau County deputy comptroller of claims, payroll and employee benefits. Those duties will continue, officials said.

"For the last four years James Garner has done an outstanding job for the county by flawlessly managing the employees' payroll and benefits and saving taxpayers money by overseeing and scrutinizing all vendor claims," Maragos said in a news release Tuesday. "I have the utmost confidence in James."

He noted that Garner will be the first black person to hold that office in Nassau.

Garner, the Republican mayor of Hempstead Village from 1989 to 2005, holds a number of firsts -- including the first black person to be elected mayor on Long Island, the first black mayor elected in the state, the first black president of the Nassau County Village Association, and the first black mayor from New York to serve as president of the United States Conference of Mayors.

"I have been fortunate," said Garner, who will be 70 on June 21. "I would like to thank the comptroller for placing his trust in me; and I take this responsibility very seriously. Protecting the taxpayers is my number one priority."

He "will oversee all of the different departments within the comptroller's office, and he will handle personnel issues," Maragos' spokesman Jostyn Hernandez said Wednesday.

He added that there are no plans to fill Garner's former job. "At this point, there has been no discussion about hiring more deputies," he said.

"Garner's salary will stay at $130,000 [a year] for the time being," he said.

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