The head of Nassau's correction officers union complained this week that the county administration had promoted two employees with personal ties to County Executive Edward Mangano as well as several jail cooks, despite the county's budget crisis and wage freeze.
John Jaronczyk, president of the Sheriff's Correction Officers Benevolent Association, told county legislators Monday that a sheriff's assistant "who just happens to be good personal friends with Ed Mangano" was promoted to deputy undersheriff. Jaronczyk also said a correction officer "who just happens to be a neighbor of Ed Mangano" was promoted to acting undersheriff last week -- though they live 11/2 miles apart in Bethpage.
Jaronczyk said Sheriff Michael Sposato, a former jail cook, had promoted the cooks to kitchen supervisors even though correction corporals, who supervise inmates, had been demoted to save money. "All county workers are under a wage freeze, but they're awarding their political patronage jobs on the backs of the corporals who were demoted," Jaronczyk said.
Mangano aide Brian Nevin called it "shameful that [the union] has once again resorted to personal attacks on the county administration, and their own members, as a distraction from the real issues."
Jaronczyk questioned the legality of the undersheriff promotions, after Mangano eliminated funding for the job title from this year's budget.
Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa) said Sposato can move money within his budget.
Mangano's budget office has projected a $5.4 million deficit at the corrections center because of lower revenue.
Nevin said Sposato slashed overtime by "having strong management in place." Jaronczyk said the savings came from cutting training and demoting corporals.
Mangano demoted 30 corporals early this year. Jaronczyk said seven have been reinstated.
Although Jaronczyk said Sposato promoted Terence J. Smith, a $98,152 special assistant to the sheriff, to undersheriff, and Emmanuel Boudouris, a $69,993-a-year corrections officer, to acting undersheriff on June 11, the county comptroller Wednesday had not received any change in their titles or salaries. Boudouris declined to comment. Smith could not be reached. Sposato did not return a call for comment about their new salaries.