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Old Westbury ex-administrator quits village job after rehire

This is the Old Westbury Village Hall in

This is the Old Westbury Village Hall in the Town of North Hempstead on May 29, 2013. Credit: JC Cherubini

Kenneth Callahan, the former Old Westbury Village administrator who was removed from his position and rehired by the mayor to “help him out” with maximizing a pension benefit, has resigned from his new village job.

Callahan, 59, submitted a letter of resignation to Old Westbury Mayor Fred Carillo last Wednesday, the day after Newsday reported Callahan was to stay on as the village’s $70,000-a-year accountant. Carillo said the village did not reappoint Callahan because he was a “lousy” administrator, but that his accounting skills warranted hiring him as a consultant with health benefits.

Friday was Callahan’s last day with the village, Carillo said. He did not identify Callahan’s new private sector employer.

Callahan did not respond to requests for comment.

Callahan was among Long Island’s highestpaid village administrators, making $218,000 in 2015, according to payroll records. His successor, Brian S. Ridgway, was hired at the July 25 board meeting at an annual salary of $130,000.

Carillo had said that Callahan “was a great treasurer, but not a good administrator.”

Callahan, before taking the accounting position, received more than $112,000 in unused sick, vacation, and compensatory time.

Carillo said he wanted to “help him out” by rehiring Callahan so he could reach 20 years in the New York State and Local Retirement System and maximize his state pension.

The mayor said the village would use its accounting firm, Albrecht Viggiano Zureck & Co. of Hauppauge, to review the village’s financial protocols.

Callahan “did all the accounting for the village, to a great extent, more than you really needed, and I think the systems we had in place could be more proficient,” Carillo said Monday.

Carillo also said that Callahan was hired in the lower-paying job because “we really needed a transition.”

“I had to try to keep him on,” Carillo said. “Now that he’s left, he’ll still be available if we need him.” For example, Carillo said that Callahan could still help the village out with water bills and real estate taxes.

Carillo said Callahan’s departure would create opportunities for advancement for other employees in the village’s staff.

“Some of the women there can do a lot more, and step up and help their career, and I want to give them an opportunity to do that,” Carillo said.

He said the administrator’s office, which he previously said was not customer-friendly, would benefit from added “teamwork.”

“I want to get new ideas and get more proficient,” Carillo said.

Leslie Fastenberg, the sole village trustee who voted against a series of personnel changes and committee appointments — including her removal as deputy mayor — said “I am happy to see change come to the village in many forms.”


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