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Old Westbury mayor ousts deputy mayor as ‘disloyal’

Leslie Fastenberg, who was ousted as Old Westbury

Leslie Fastenberg, who was ousted as Old Westbury deputy mayor at a board meeting on July 18, 2016, will continue to serve as a trustee. Above, Fastenberg stands in front of Village Hall on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. Credit: Steve Pfost

Old Westbury trustee Leslie Fastenberg, who last year led an insurgent campaign that upset village politics, has lost her deputy mayor post after the mayor said she was disloyal to his administration.

Fastenberg will continue to serve on the village board of trustees. Marina Chimerine, a trustee who was elected to the board in 2015 on Fastenberg’s write-in slate, is the new deputy mayor.

Chimerine’s appointment was approved 4-1 at the July 18 board meeting, with only Fastenberg dissenting.

“She was not loyal,” Mayor Fred Carillo said, in an interview, of Fastenberg. “A mayor needs a deputy mayor to give full support, detach themselves from their friends and neighbors. I have found Marina Chimerine to be invaluable in this regard.”

Carillo, 73, also said Fastenberg had sought candidates to run against him in last month’s village election. Carillo was re-elected in an uncontested race.

“The idea that I would have supported someone else for mayor, that I didn’t support the mayor again, is somehow disloyal, is silly,” Fastenberg, 61, said Monday. “We come from different parties.”

While the village’s incumbents were expecting an unopposed race in June 2015, Fastenberg, Chimerine and Dr. Cory Baker waged a surprise write-in campaign for three trustee positions. Baker and Chimerine won, while Fastenberg’s race against trustee Andrew Weinberg was ruled a tie after several legal challenges. A runoff election was held in September, when Fastenberg defeated Weinberg. Carillo appointed Fastenberg deputy mayor in December after the incumbent, Michael Wolf, resigned.

“What the mayor’s reasons were for choosing me as opposed to the previous deputy mayor — his appointments are his decisions. It’s at the discretion of the mayor,” Chimerine said Monday.

“Dissension on a board is good,” she said. “I guess the mayor has encountered some difficulty in dealing with Ms. Fastenberg, and he has chosen his appointments.”

Carillo also appointed Baker, 58, as police commissioner. Trustee Ed Novick, 53, was appointed the village’s budget officer. Chimerine also serves as public works commissioner. Fastenberg holds no titles.

Trustees are paid $3,500 annually, and the mayor is paid $4,000 per year. The added titles do not bring additional pay.

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