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Lawmaker: Suozzi "meddling" in college president search

The GOP challenger to County Executive Thomas Suozzi is chiding him for "meddling" in Nassau Community College's quest for a new president.

"[The school] is the Cadillac of community colleges and should not be treated like a political playground," Legis. Edward Mangano of Bethpage said in a news release. It also attacked county Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs on the same grounds.

Suozzi brushed aside the claim Monday, saying he has "always supported the college and looks forward to working with the new president, who-ever it is." Jacobs could not be reached.

College officials have said its trustees will select a replacement for retiring college president Sean Fanelli from among three finalists this month.

Mangano said Suozzi and Jacobs "have interfered with the confidential process to select an eligible candidate." Attributing it to "news accounts," he said the two are "replacing trustees with people who are loyal to the Democratic Party and Suozzi."

"It has been reported to the legislature that political bosses are putting pressure on trustees," Mangano said Monday.

Both Suozzi and Jacobs have denied ever doing that. Last month, Suozzi named a replacement for a college trustee whose term had expired. At the legislature's confirmation hearing, two trustees sought a delay "because the other trustee had been so involved with our search committee," said one of the two, Trustee John Durso.

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