Kevin Cronin, who resigned as the North Hempstead building commissioner in 2014, will return as a $98,000-a-year administrative assistant on “special assignment” to Supervisor Judi Bosworth to help the town deal with an expected wave of retirements in the Highway Department.

Cronin “will serve in a short-term assignment stationed at the highway department,” town spokeswoman Carole Trottere said. His job is to provide recommendations “for all processes and procedures and to see how we can improve customer service.”

Trottere said Cronin, 64, will “help prepare for the future direction of the department as we may have a number of significant retirements.”

His new position pays an annual salary of $122,500, but he is to be paid at a reduced 80 percent rate, or $98,000, because he will not be working full time.

Bosworth said North Hempstead Highway Superintendent Thomas Tiernan is on medical leave after having a knee operation and he plans to retire soon..

“There’s not a real succession plan; we need to prepare for life after Tom Tiernan,” Bosworth said.

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She stressed that Cronin is not a candidate to replace Tiernan and that the assignment is temporary. “When they [department employees] leave, a lot of their knowledge is going to go with them,” Bosworth said.

Cronin resigned in May 2014, four months after Bosworth took office and after she waged a campaign to reform the town’s building department. Builders and residents alike had criticized the department after a 2007 corruption scandal led applications to be handled at too slow of a pace.

Thomas Tiernan, Highway Superintendent for the Town of North Hempstead, stands next to a snow melting machine Feb. 6, 2015. Photo Credit: Ed Betz

Cronin said at the time that leaving was his choice and that he would pursue “other interests.”

He was paid $127,371 in 2013, according to payroll records provided to Newsday.

Bosworth said Cronin was not hired as a consultant because she wanted him to report directly to her.

“I’m doing a lot of reshuffling in my office,” she said.