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A sixth top-level North Hempstead employee resigns

North Hempstead officials say turnover is common.

North Hempstead officials say turnover is common. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Another North Hempstead Town top official has resigned before the year’s end, making him the sixth employee to leave a top-level town position in 2019.

Robert Lange, the executive director of the town’s Solid Waste Management Authority, resigned from his $152,026 position on Nov. 8.

“The Town is now searching for a new director,” town spokeswoman Carole Trottere said in an emailed statement. “We are very grateful for his service during his tenure with the Solid Waste Management Authority.”

Lange was hired in 2016 to replace Igor Sikiric, who left two months after a Solid Waste Management Authority employee was fired for alleged embezzlement. Helen McCann, of Roslyn Heights, pleaded guilty in 2018 to one count of second-degree corrupting the government and was ordered to pay a restitution of $98,000.

At the time of his hiring, Lange received $28,000 more than Sikiric was paid.

Lange, who could not be reached for comment, managed North Hempstead’s waste transfer system, which handles 525 tons of waste daily, and administered the town’s garbage contracts. He was also in charge of making sure the town’s landfills, gas and leachate collection systems follow environmental requirements.

Before joining North Hempstead Town, Lange was the director of beneficial reuse planning, infrastructure development and management at the New York City Department of Sanitation’s Bureau of Solid Waste Management.

Since December, one-third of North Hempstead’s department heads and senior staff have left their jobs, including the town’s highway superintendent who left four months after taking the position.

The positions for public works commissioner and highway superintendent remain vacant. Both departments are currently led by acting chiefs.

Since Aline Khatchadourian left in January, the job of the deputy town supervisor was never filled. Town Attorney Elizabeth Botwin was replaced by Leonard Kapsalis, and Arnyce Foster-Hernandez took over the town’s Department of Parks and Recreation after Jill Weber’s retirement.

Supervisor Judi Bosworth said in October that the town has a "great staff" and that turnover in government is common.

“People move on to other opportunities and challenges and others chose to retire,” Bosworth said in a statement. “We’ve had a little of both here. … It’s part of life and of running a government with 419 full-time employees.”

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