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Nassau Republicans ask Mangano to nullify 18 measures

The new GOP leadership of the Nassau County Legislature has asked the Republican county executive to nullify 18 measures passed last month during the final session under Democratic control.

The 18 measures included contracts for county goods and services, settlement of tax claims and establishing a green energy program.

Republican Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt of Massapequa said some of the disputed items were passed without proper notice, and some passed without the required supermajority.

Schmitt said five contracts that required only the approval of the Rules Committee, and not the full legislature, were approved on Dec. 21, but were not on file in their final form for the required one-week period before the vote.

Thirteen other measures passed by the full legislature on Dec. 21 required a supermajority of 13 votes because they were passed through committee at a special meeting on Dec. 16 as "emergency items." They passed 10-0 with all 10 Democrats voting in favor. The nine Republicans did not vote.

The new Democratic minority leader, Diane Yatauro, defended her actions as the presiding officer at that meeting. She said the measures had been signed into law by then Democratic County Executive Thomas Suozzi and that County Executive Edward Mangano should not nullify the measures.

"Mr. Schmitt is wasting everyone's time trying to change the past," Yatauro said in a statement. "It's time for Peter to move forward."

Mike Martino, a spokesman for Mangano, said the county attorney is looking into the matter.

This is the first significant battle in the legislature since Republicans picked up two new seats last fall, creating an 11-8 GOP edge in a legislature that had been controlled by Democrats for eight years.

The dispute stems from a rush of legislation and appointments to county boards that came to the legislature after Suozzi conceded defeat to Mangano on Dec. 1.

The Democratic legislature approved more than 40 appointments and dozens of contracts for goods and services last month as minority Republicans complained that the measures were being rushed through without proper review.

Although many of the appointments were to nonsalaried boards, some Suozzi allies got well-paying jobs. Dermot Kelly, Suozzi's director of real estate, was named a $130,000-a-year member of the Assessment Review Commission.

Dolores Sedacca, a Democrat who ran against Republican Legis. Richard Nicolello of New Hyde Park, got a $75,000-a-year job on the same commission.

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