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Laura Curran pledges more women leaders in Nassau

Laura Curran, Democratic candidate for Nassau County executive,

Laura Curran, Democratic candidate for Nassau County executive, holds a news conference at her home to talk about the lack of female department heads in Edward Mangano's administration on Thursday, March 9, 2017. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Democratic Nassau County executive candidate Laura Curran said Thursday that, if elected, she will staff at least half her administration’s senior leadership with women.

At a news conference at her home in Baldwin, Curran, a Nassau County legislator, said she would “end the days of the good old boys club” in Nassau politics.

“Taxpayers are tired of the county hiring based on who you know and not what you know,” said Curran. “That path has led to women being frozen out. I refuse to believe that taxpayers are getting an adequate bang for their buck when only men are put in leadership positions.”

Women lead roughly 20 percent of the nearly 50 departments, task forces, commissions and boards staffed by Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, according to information on the county’s website.

But Curran said only 4 of the 21 senior leaders in Mangano’s administration — commissioners, deputy county executives, county attorney, sheriff, assessor and treasurer positions — are female.

They include Public Works Commissioner Shila Shah-Gavnoudias, Chief Medical Examiner Tamara Bloom, Consumer Affairs Commissioner Madalyn Farley and Commissioner of Investigations Donna Myrill.

Women also run the Assessment Review Commission, Office of Minority Affairs, Coordinated Agency for Spanish Americans, Crime Victims Program and County Youth Board.

Mangano spokeswoman Connie Petrucci said Curran’s plan to hire based on gender “appears to violate” county policy.

“It’s unfortunate that Legislator Curran resorts to selective and misleading statistics,” Petrucci said in a statement. “The Mangano administration is the most diverse in Nassau’s history and 40 percent of County Executive Mangano’s cabinet is comprised of women and minority managers who work tirelessly for our citizens.”

Curran faces a Democratic primary against Comptroller George Maragos and Assemb. Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove).

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