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Singas criticizes Murray for nepotism

Acting Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas on Jan.

Acting Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas on Jan. 13, 2015 in Mineola. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Acting Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said Wednesday her Republican challenger for district attorney, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, had engaged in nepotism and given "preferential treatment" to relatives who work for the town.

Town payroll records released by the Singas campaign show that two of Murray's brothers, her sister-in-law and her late father have worked for the town. The sister-in-law and one of the brothers made more in gross pay than other employees in the same job titles.

In base pay, the three living relatives earn the same or less than other employees in their categories, the records show.

"Kate Murray's funneling of taxpayer dollars to her own family is appalling," Singas said in a statement. "The notion that an elected official would create jobs for, then give preferential treatment to, her immediate family members is deeply troubling."

Murray's campaign spokesman Bill Corbett called it "sad" and "pathetic" that Singas would attack Murray's late father Norman Murray, a town paralegal for 22 years before retiring in 2009. He died in 2013 at the age of 87.

"Attempting to mislead the public about individuals whose salaries and positions are governed by civil service law is an undignified effort by Ms. Singas to distract attention from her failure as acting district attorney," Corbett said.

The town data for 2013, which was provided by the Singas campaign and confirmed by Newsday, shows that Kate Murray's brother Terence Murray and her sister-in-law Kathleen Quinlan, both parks department employees, made more in gross wages than others with the same job titles. Timothy Murray, who also works for parks, had the third-highest gross earnings in his category.

Gross wages include base pay, overtime, holiday pay and any severance payments, according to the town.The campaign said Norman Murray earned $122,677 in gross pay in 2008, his last full year before retiring. The campaign said he made more than twice the average for paralegals, citing published reports that could not be checked independently.

Timothy Murray, hired in April 2005, two years after Kate Murray became supervisor, works as an assistant parks recreation director. He earned $88,950 in base pay in 2013, according to town records. He made $100,480 in gross wages that year, the third-highest amount among the five assistant recreation directors. The next highest-paid person in the category earned $450 more than Murray.

Terence Murray was hired in 2004 as a parks "physical conditioning specialist." He now works as a parks maintenance supervisor. In 2013 he earned base pay of $104,955 and gross pay of $123,279, according to town records. The other six parks maintenance supervisors had gross pay that was $6,800 to $16,900 less than Murray's.

Quinlan, a town employee since 1989, is a secretary to the parks commissioner. In 2013, her base pay was $88,406 and she had gross earnings of $93,277, town records show. She was the top gross earner among 12 secretaries with the same title. She made $5,010 more than the next highest-paid secretary.


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