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Mondello asks town to withdraw plan to rename facility in his honor

Nassau GOP Chairman Joseph Mondello announces he is

Nassau GOP Chairman Joseph Mondello announces he is resigning as chairman of the party on May 17 in Levittown. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Ambassador Joseph Mondello, Nassau County's former GOP leader, has asked the Hempstead Town Board to withdraw its proposal to name a Levittown athletic facility in his honor, according to a statement.

Mondello, a former Hempstead Town supervisor, was named the U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in June. 

The town board's agenda for Tuesday's meeting includes a resolution to name the football field, basketball court, tee-ball field and adjoining areas at MacLaren Stadium in Levittown as the “Ambassador Joseph N. Mondello Athletic Complex.”

"While I appreciate the sentiments behind this proposal it is an honor I did not seek nor was even aware of until the resolution became public knowledge late last week," Mondello said in a statement Monday.

Town Councilman Dennis Dunne, who proposed the idea, said Monday afternoon he will withdraw the resolution.

He said he would never "diminish the legacy of a brave veteran." 

The stadium is named for Ernest Hamilton MacLaren, a Navy veteran who was awarded the Purple Heart during World War II and lived in Levittown.

"As a veteran myself, I would never want to supplant a veteran of World War II and Purple Heart recipient, Ernest MacLaren, from the honor he so richly earned in the service of our country," Mondello said. "Just having the opportunity to serve our nation as its ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago is honor enough for me."

Town Supervisor Laura Gillen said she will be introducing legislation on renaming locations after people to define "what is appropriate and what isn’t."

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