Rep. Peter King has endorsed former State Sen. Jack Martins,...

Rep. Peter King has endorsed former State Sen. Jack Martins, seen in 2008, for Nassau County exec. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) endorsed former State Sen. Jack Martins for Nassau County executive Wednesday, citing his ethics reform proposals and plan to improve transparency in county contracting.

“Jack strongly stands for ethics reform and transparency,” King said at a news conference at American Legion Post 1066 in Massapequa. “We are going to restore confidence in government. People have to know that what’s being done is being done openly and that contracts are being awarded honestly and properly. If anyone can restore confidence and integrity to government, it’s Jack Martins.”

Martins has proposed a new Code of Ethics that would include more expansive financial disclosure requirements from elected officials and policymakers; strengthening the county’s Ethics Board to conduct more through investigations of misconduct, and changing the county charter to allow indicted elected officials to be recalled from office through a public referendum.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican, is facing federal corruption charges in connection with his dealings with a Bethpage restaurateur. Mangano’s wife, Linda, and former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto also were charged in the case. All three have pleaded not guilty.

“It’s going to take a plan and experience to fix the issues that afflicted Nassau County not just for days, not just for years, but for decades,” Martins said. “We can put this county back on the right track.”

Also Wednesday, Legis. Laura Curran (D-Baldwin), one of two Democrats vying to challenge Martins in November, received the endorsement of three labor unions — the Sheet Metal Air-Rail-Transportation [SMART] Union’s Transportation Division; Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union Local 1102 and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1049.

“The corruption and blatant disrespect from local government has to stop,” said Anthony Simon, general chairman of the SMART Transportation Division. “The hardworking men and women of our organization who live and pay taxes in Nassau County need to see resources allocated to improve the county, not fill the pockets of self-serving politicians or their special interests. For these reasons and with great confidence, I feel Laura Curran is the right person to put Nassau County back on track.”

Curran, who will face County Comptroller George Maragos in a September Democratic primary, said that if elected, she would “stand with the hard-working men and women these unions represent, and will fight for better wages, benefits, and workplace protections.”