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Jack Martins criticizes Laura Curran ethics plan

Jack Martins, Republican candidate for Nassau County Executive,

Jack Martins, Republican candidate for Nassau County Executive, poses for a portrait at GOP county headquarters in Westbury on June 2, 2017. Photo Credit: James Escher

Former State Sen. Jack Martins, the Republican nominee for Nassau County executive, has taken aim for the first time at Democratic candidate Laura Curran, calling her plan to reform the county Ethics Board a “charade.”

Curran, a county legislator from Baldwin and the Democrats’ pick for county executive, and minority Democrats has introduced legislation to revamp the county’s five-member Ethics Board, which investigates complaints of misconduct by county employees.

The bill would allow the county executive to appoint two board members, one of whom would be backed by local labor unions. The legislative presiding officer, minority leader and the county comptroller would make the other appointments.

Currently, the board is comprised of appointees of County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican who has pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges.

“Nassau County residents deserve an honest proposal that strengthens the Ethics Board’s oversight and independence,” Martins said in a statement. He has called on Mangano to resign. “Unfortunately, what they got was a hyper-political proposal.”

Martins would have no more than two individuals from either major political party on the ethics board. All five members would be appointed by the county executive, confirmed by the county legislature and serve staggered five-year terms.

Curran, who will face Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos in a Democratic primary, defended her plan. She said taxpayers were “fed up with paying a corruption tax to support” Mangano and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who was convicted last year on federal corruption charges. Skelos is appealing.

“Taxpayers just can’t trust Jack Martins, who carried water” for the Republican “machine and stifled ethics reform in Albany at every turn,” said Curran, who has introduced plans to term limit county officials, reform contracting practices and end patronage and nepotism hires.

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