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Legis. Dennis Dunne to quit, will seek town board appointment

Nassau County Legis. Dennis Dunne speaks during a

Nassau County Legis. Dennis Dunne speaks during a budget hearing in Mineola on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. Credit: Barry Sloan

Nassau County Legis. Dennis Dunne (R-Levittown) said he plans to resign Monday to pursue a nominated appointment to the Hempstead Town Board.

Dunne said last week that he will end his 22-year career in the legislature after that body’s meeting on Monday.

The town listed the appointment to fill the seat of retiring town board member Gary Hudes on the agenda for the board’s meeting Tuesday night.

Hempstead Town officials did not confirm his selection for the appointment until it appeared on the agenda, despite news of his selection leaking months earlier.

Dunne, 67, was an original member of the Nassau County Legislature when it was formed in 1996. He served with the Marines during the Vietnam War and is former director of the Nassau County Veterans Agency. He served for two years with the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs, and also served as chairman of the Nassau County Public Safety Committee.

“In 22 years I’ve done everything I’ve set to accomplish in the legislature,” Dunne said. “It’s in really good hands and the majority is doing a good job. The opportunity to serve on the town board doesn’t come along every day.”

Legislators make $39,500 a year, while town board members get an annual salary of $71,000. Dunne leaves the legislature ahead of a scheduled pay raise for legislators that would have boosted his salary to $75,000 starting in January.

If a majority of the town board votes to appoint Dunne, he will fill Hudes’ seat for the 6th Council District, representing Levittown and portions of East Meadow, Bellmore, Bethpage, Merrick, Seaford and Wantagh.

It would mark the fourth appointment to the town board, following past appointments of members Erin King Sweeney, Bruce Blakeman and Anthony D’Esposito, who all were later elected to the posts.

Dunne would face Democratic challenger Sue Moller, a Lynbrook High School guidance counselor, in the November election.

“The hardworking taxpayers in the Town of Hempstead deserve a government that is chosen in a voting booth, not in a back room by Supervisor Santino and his Republican good old boys club,” Moller said in a statement.

The legislature could leave the 15th District seat vacant until November.

Republicans have nominated Nassau County Chief Deputy Clerk John Ferretti Jr. to run for Dunne’s seat in November. Ferretti will face Democrat Michael Sheridan, who operates a yoga studio in Locust Valley and a group home for developmentally disabled adults in Levittown.

With Paul LaRocco


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