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Glen Cove, under fiscal stress, hires Jeffrey Nogid as controller

The Glen Cove City Council has hired former Long Beach Comptroller Jeffrey Nogid as the city’s new controller.

Council members voted unanimously Tuesday to hire Nogid, also a former Nassau County budget director. Nogid, who now works as a consultant, starts work on July 5. He replaces Salvatore Lombardi, who has been Glen Cove’s top financial official since 2006. Lombardi’s last day is Friday.

“I look forward to a good challenge,” Nogid said after the meeting. “My goal is to leave a place better than I found it.”

But Glen Cove resident Marsha Silverman told council members Nogid is not qualified for the job because he is not a certified public accountant and does not hold an advanced degree. Nogid has a bachelor’s degree in economics..

“What scrutiny has been given to this candidate and why would we not find someone who is more qualified?” Silverman asked.

Silverman also criticized Nogid for having worked in the 1990s and early 2000s for Enron, the Houston-based energy company that went into bankruptcy in 2001 after an accounting-fraud scandal.

Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello said Nogid’s time with Enron shouldn’t be used against him. Spinello said he spoke with Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman about Nogid’s tenure in that city “and he gave him rave reviews.”

Schnirman couldn’t be reached for comment.

Long Beach’s fiscal stress rating by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office improved from 2012 to 2014 when Nogid was comptroller, records show. DiNapoli in September named Glen Cove one of 18 municipalities and counties in New York with “significant stress” in its finances in 2014.

“I tend to gravitate toward municipalities in distress,” Nogid said.

He also challenged the need to be a CPA in order to do the controller’s job, saying his 30 years of accounting experience in the private sector and government is more important than a CPA certification.

Lombardi said on Wednesday that before the interview process, the mayor asked him if certification as a CPA was important for the position and Lombardi, who is a CPA, said it wasn’t. Spinello said about six candidates were interviewed

Lombardi is retiring but will assist in the transition. The council unanimously approved appointing him as part-time assessor. He will be paid $75 an hour. Lombardi currently is assessor as well as controller, although the city relies on a consultant for some assessment services. Lombardi said he expects to be in that assessor job for six months or less.

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