Nassau’s Civil Service Commission has rejected a request by outgoing County Comptroller George Maragos to move his longtime personal assistant into a noncompetitive union position that could have protected her from termination during the next administration.
The panel voted Wednesday to deny an application to move Cailin Krogman from her $137,000-per-year title of inspector to secretary to the deputy comptroller, according to former U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman, a Civil Service commissioner.
Krogman was “disqualified” from the post, Ackerman said, because she lives in New York City and “did not have the qualifications” for the job.
“We thought you could get a secretary who lives in Nassau County,” Ackerman said. “We can’t make an exception for a bookkeeper or a secretary.”
Comptroller-elect Jack Schnirman, a Democrat who takes office Jan. 1, said, “We agree with the Civil Service Commission’s decision and look forward to focusing our resources on bringing in people who can work toward bringing accountability, transparency and efficiency to Nassau.”
Maragos had sought to move Krogman into a Civil Service Employees Association position classified under state Civil Service law as “Phi.”
The rarely used title is designated for employees with “high level administrative, scientific or technical character involving a confidential relationship between the incumbent and appointing authority.”
Critics say Maragos gave her the title because it does not have a six-month probationary period.
Maragos, who did not respond to a request for comment Thursday, has said Krogman would have served “at the pleasure of the new comptroller” and could be terminated at any time.
CSEA President Jerry Laricchiuta disagreed, noting that his union successfully got three fired Traffic and Parking Violations Agency employees their jobs back, with back pay.
Krogman worked with Maragos for two decades at a Manhattan data firm he founded. Maragos hired her as his personal secretary when he became comptroller in 2010.
In 2013, during a countywide wage freeze, Maragos changed her title to inspector, boosting her salary by $20,000.
In July, Maragos criticized Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican who did not seek re-election as he fights federal corruption charges, for moving politically appointed employees into protected union positions.
Maragos argued that the practice “circumvents the Civil Service system, which ensures that the best candidates are objectively hired with taxpayer money.”