Patricia Horan, of the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, holds...

Patricia Horan, of the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, holds a Cocker Spaniel puppy that was seized from a Rockville Centre home Wednesday. (Jan. 13, 2011) Credit: Howard Schnapp

The acting director of the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter registered to vote in Nassau County two years ago even though state records continued to list her as residing in Suffolk County.

Documents show that Patricia Horan registered from the Wantagh home of Ella Stevens, a GOP appointee to the Nassau Board of Elections. Five months after registering to vote in Nassau, Horan was elected to a county GOP committee seat. Committee seats require Nassau residency. Stevens has served as president of the Wantagh Republican Club, where Horan has been a member.

State law mandates that voters register at a location where they have "legitimate, significant and continuing attachments" and do so without "any aura of sham." It is a felony to knowingly file a false registration, or to allow or assist such a filing.

Horan and Stevens declined interview requests. An attorney for the Nassau Republican Party and a town official said they had been told Horan once stayed with Stevens. Hempstead Town spokesman Mike Deery said Horan's voter registration was unrelated to her employment at the shelter.

On Feb. 10, after Newsday began asking questions, the Suffolk County Board of Elections office in Yaphank received a registration form from Horan, who changed her voting address back to her Amityville home.


Reported move in 2009

Records show that Horan - who is among nine shelter employees paid more than $100,000 in 2010, seven of whom won GOP committee seats the previous year - completed paperwork in April 2009 stating that she had moved her residence from Amityville, in Suffolk, to Wantagh, in Nassau.

She won her committee seat the following September and was named acting shelter director last November during a period of turmoil at the agency, which has seen staff upheaval and is the focus of probes by the town and the Nassau County district attorney's office.


Donated to Nassau GOP

Seventeen days after her voter registration was filed in Nassau, Horan donated $175 to the Nassau GOP and state political contribution records list her Amityville address. At the time, as it has since 2000, Horan's state driver's license also listed her Amityville residence.

On Oct. 28, 2009 - a month and a half after being chosen for the committee seat - Horan gave $100 to the Nassau GOP and state records show that she again donated from her Amityville residence.

Horan, 52, made 13 political donations between April 2007 and October 2010, to the Nassau GOP, the Hempstead Republican Committee and Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, according to documents. All list her home as being in Amityville.

Yet Horan, who was paid $111,819 last year and has the use of a town-owned 2011 Ford Escape, has cast ballots as a Nassau voter, most recently in November. Records show that she also voted from the Wantagh address in September last year and in November 2009.

Louis Savinetti, the GOP commissioner at the Nassau Board of Elections, referred questions to John E. Ryan, his attorney and counsel to the Nassau Republican Party.

Ryan said "various people at the board" told him that at "a point in time in 2009" Horan in fact lived with Stevens. Ryan said he had no documentation to support that and no knowledge of whether the period coincided with Horan's registration as a Nassau voter.

Registering appropriately is Horan's responsibility, Ryan said. Were the board to get a complaint about Horan or Stevens, "we would certainly investigate," he said.

Ryan also said the burden fell on Horan to give a legitimate address at the time she vied for a committee seat. Ryan said it was his understanding that Horan has stepped down from the committee. He said he did not know when or for what reason.

Stevens, 58, was in 2009 an administrative assistant at the Nassau elections board. She once worked as spokeswoman for Fred Parola, the former Nassau comptroller who directs Hempstead Town's Industrial Development Agency.

Parola leads the Wantagh GOP club where Stevens has been president. In an interview, Parola said Horan joined the club about four years ago. Parola said he'd also been told that Horan had stayed for a time with Stevens for personal reasons, but he did not know when or for how long.

Stevens has recently been the GOP's Help America Vote Act coordinator at the elections board. The federal act is intended to modernize voting procedures in the country.

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