Two weeks after the Munsey Park Village Board appointed Daniel Breen, the mayor’s brother-in-law, to a newly created village administrator position, Breen has declined the promotion.
Village officials sent an email to residents on Friday indicating that Breen, 54, a member of the municipal utility crew since January 2016, “will continue in his capacity” in that role.
Breen was making $42,000 as a utility worker, excluding overtime pay, according to village officials. The salary for the new position has not been disclosed.
Village officials have not responded to requests for comment on why Breen rejected the position, his qualifications for the position and whether the position was advertised.
Breen lives at the same Manhasset address — a single-family home — as Mayor Frank J. DeMento. Breen shares the same last name as DeMento’s wife, Maura, according to public records. DeMento, previously a village trustee, was elected mayor in March.
Breen was appointed to the new administrator’s job in a 3-1 board vote on May 10, with DeMento abstaining. The resolutions creating the position and appointing Breen were not listed on the board meeting agenda or posted on the village website in advance.
In its Friday email, the board said it will continue searching for a “well-qualified candidate, in an effort to increase efficiency within the Village, decrease delays in certain Village business, present an overall cost savings to the Village and in general to contribute to a more user-friendly environment for the residents of the Village.”
A release posted on the village website two weeks ago stated that the administrator “position and appointment were fully vetted and are compliant with the village code.”
At the May board meeting, Village Attorney Robert Morici said that an ethics policy review had been conducted.
According to the village ethics law established last year, a three-member Board of Ethics renders a confidential advisory opinion based on a “thorough review.” The village has not published the Ethics Board roster. Although Morici issued a written opinion about Breen’s appointment, it is unclear whether the ethics board also completed an advisory opinion.
“I think at this point there are more questions than answers as to why the position is really necessary and how creating a new position could save the village money,” said Sue Auriemma, a village trustee from 2012 to 2014.
The village board has scheduled its next public meeting for Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall, 1777 Northern Blvd. in Manhasset. The village administrator position is listed on the agenda as an issue to be considered.