North Hempstead Democratic Chairman Gerard Terry released a written statement Friday in which he acknowledged that he owed “some one million plus dollars” in federal and state back taxes.
Terry’s statement said that “as an attorney and political leader, one would assume I might be the last person to run afoul of failing to cut a tax check on time, but that failure reflects more on personality than profession.” He said the unpaid taxes “accumulated over more than a decade” and that penalties and interest make the payments “considerably more.”
He blamed the lapse on his “Type-A workaholic compulsion with self-denial and truly catastrophic health issues.” The statement did not elaborate on those issues.
Terry, 61, has for decades been a prominent figure in Nassau’s Democratic Party with influence over state, county, and North Hempstead Town politics. He works as an assistant counselor to the Nassau County Board of Elections and is the attorney for North Hempstead’s board of zoning appeals.
He released the statement amid questions from Newsday about his tax liens.
Terry’s statement indicates he plans to address his tax problems in 2016, which would be “a life-changing result.”
“If this can happen to me, an officer of the court who has been involved in politics for all of his adult life, this can happen to anyone.”
Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs declined to comment on Terry’s letter.