Ed Romaine is sworn in as Suffolk county executive by County Court...

Ed Romaine is sworn in as Suffolk county executive by County Court Judge James C. Hudson at Eastport-South Manor Junior-Senior High School in Manorville on New Year's Day. Credit: James Carbone

Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine announced a slew of administration appointments Wednesday, including Kevin Molloy, who will serve as chief deputy county executive.

Molloy, most recently Romaine’s chief of staff while he was Brookhaven Town supervisor, has worked under various Suffolk Republican officials over nearly three decades and serves as secretary of the Brookhaven Town Republican Committee. Romaine’s communication director, Mike Martino, whose appointment was also announced Wednesday, did not immediately provide a salary for Molloy or the other appointees.

Romaine, a Republican, was sworn in as Suffolk’s ninth county executive Monday, succeeding former Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, a Democrat. His picks for department commissioners will need confirmation from the Suffolk Legislature, where Republicans hold a 12-6 majority.

Romaine on Wednesday said he selected seasoned people with government experience.

"These are not people that are dropping out of trees," he said. "These are people that have been in county government for a long, long time."

Romaine, whose transition team requested last month that all Bellone appointees submit their resignations by Jan. 1, is keeping some. They include economic planning and development commissioner Sarah Lansdale, parks commissioner Jason Smagin and deputy Department of Public Works commissioner Darnell Tyson. Christina Capobianco, most recently deputy county commissioner for health services, will serve as deputy county executive for finance. James Kiley, assistant manager of information technology operations, has been named acting deputy IT commissioner.

Other appointees are new. Sylvia Diaz, most recently the executive director of the Suffolk County Community College Foundation, has been named deputy county executive for health, human services and education. Jennifer Jeungst, an assistant town attorney in the Town of Smithtown, will be deputy county executive overseeing sewers.

Former county public works commissioner Charles Bartha, who retired in 2006, will return as commissioner of that department. Chief engineer Michael Monaghan will be promoted to deputy Department of Public Works commissioner.

Romaine said Michael Azzara, Department of Information Technology information services project manager, will serve as acting commissioner while he searches for a permanent replacement for former commissioner Scott Mastellon. Suffolk County Police Chief of Department Robert Waring will be interim police commissioner until a replacement can be found for Rodney K. Harrison, who left in December.

Romaine said interviews are ongoing for the position of deputy county executive for public safety. 

He has not said how many employees will be departing county service.

Asking appointees to resign has been standard practice in the various political regime changes over the years in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Romaine has said those who wish to continue in his administration could apply for positions. 

Romaine also said his administration is reviewing the county's work-from-home policies.

"We are concerned a number of employees are working from home without an adequate reason," he said. "The public deals with people where we work, they don't deal with the employees in their home. So that's a case-by-case basis."

Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland. The conversation continues on newsday.com/nextli where we invite Long Islanders to share their experiences on this looming crisis of changing weather patterns, flooding, shoreline protection, home buyouts and more to find potential solutions for the region’s future.

Paying the Price: Long Island's stormy future Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland.

Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland. The conversation continues on newsday.com/nextli where we invite Long Islanders to share their experiences on this looming crisis of changing weather patterns, flooding, shoreline protection, home buyouts and more to find potential solutions for the region’s future.

Paying the Price: Long Island's stormy future Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland.

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