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Candidate criticizes acting Nassau DA's investigations

Michael Scotto, the former chief of the Manhattan

Michael Scotto, the former chief of the Manhattan Rackets Bureau, announced his candidacy for Nassau County District Attorney, May 5, 2015.

Nassau district attorney candidate Michael Scotto yesterday criticized acting District Attorney Madeline Singas -- his challenger in the upcoming Democratic primary -- for not "proactively" pursuing criminal investigations.

At a news conference at his West Hempstead campaign headquarters, Scotto, a former Manhattan prosecutor, blasted Singas, saying the bulk of her investigations since taking office in January after predecessor Kathleen Rice's election to Congress have been spurred by reports in Newsday and other media outlets.

"This is just a symptom of what I think is a problem with the DA's office for the last several years and that's that they're very reactive and not proactive," Scotto said.

Scotto was joined by Kathleen Cole, co-owner of Gym Door Repairs, a Great River based supplier of school gymnasium-door safety equipment, who complained that Singas' office has not been responsive to her complaints of alleged bid rigging with certain Long Island school district contracts.

Cole said in 2013 she complained to both the Nassau and Suffolk district attorneys' offices that some Long Island school district affiliates and a local competitor were illegally rigging contract bids and violating prevailing wage laws.

In March 2014, Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota's office raided the Hauppauge office of Cole's rival company, Young Equipment Sales, citing an "active investigation" to determine "whether overbilling was going on." The company's owner has denied any wrongdoing. Cole said she never heard back from the Nassau district attorney's office since her last meeting with them in December 2013.

Nassau district attorney spokesman Brendan Brosh referred questions to "our partners" at the Suffolk district attorney's office.

Robert Clifford, a Suffolk district attorney spokesman, told Newsday both offices were collaborating on the investigation. "These matters are under an active, joint investigation," Clifford said.

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