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Former judge tapped as Nassau parks commissioner

Longtime Republican Carnell Foskey of Lakeview, who was defeated last year in his bid for re-election to Nassau County's Family Court, has been picked as the county's new Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Museums.

He replaces Jose Lopez, of Mineola, who will stay on the job as Foskey's deputy commissioner.

"Nassau's parks are historic and known nationwide. Restoring their former glory is a focus of my administration, and with Carnell Foskey in place as commissioner I am confident we will be taking a tremendous step in that direction," Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said Tuesday.

Foskey, 54, who lost his first bid for political office to Earlene Hooper Hill in a 1988 18th Assembly race, went on to win a district court judgeship in 1991 and a Family Court, 10-year judgeship in 1998.

In November, Foskey, who had risen to be the county's first black supervising judge, lost to Democrat Robin Kent by a 56 percent to 44 percent margin.

Lopez, who Foskey will replace once he is approved by the county legislature, was named to the post by former County Executive Thomas Suozzi in March 2006.

Lopez, 47, who was on the U.S. Triathlon Team in 2007, credited being in good shape for his quick recovery from a bicycle fall while traveling at 30 mph and breaking his collar bone and eight ribs two years ago.

"Jose Lopez has done a great job and will keep on overseeing many special events and recreational aspects of the parks department," Mangano said.

The department has 150 full-time workers, 203 part-time workers and, during the summer, hundreds of seasonal workers. It has an annual budget of $17.5 million.

Foskey will earn $130,625 annually. Lopez will maintain his salary of $130,625.

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