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Long IslandPolitics

Laura Curran transition chief seeks Nassau appointee resignations

Thomas Garry seeks the resignations of more than 200 Nassau County political appointees as Curran prepares to take office.

County Executive-elect Laura Curran thanked voters at the Mineola LIRR station on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, as she aimed to connect with residents and share her message as Nassau's incoming leader.  (Credit: Newsday / Raychel Brightman)

More than 200 Nassau County political appointees were asked Tuesday to resign their jobs at the request of Thomas Garry, Nassau’s top Democratic political strategist and chairman of the transition team for incoming Democratic County Executive Laura Curran.

County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican who is leaving office at the end of December, notified all his employees who can be hired or fired at will, such as department heads, commissioners, assistant commissioners and deputy county attorneys, to submit their resignations by the close of business on Nov. 27.

Mangano said in a letter to his appointees: “I have been asked by Thomas Garry of County Executive-elect Curran’s transition committee to request resignation letters from each of you, with a resignation date of Dec. 31, 2017.”

Garry, a vice chairman of the Nassau Democratic Party, had met with Mangano and his top aides two days after Curran won the county executive race and asked for the appointee resignations. Curran did not attend the meeting.

Garry, managing partner of the Harris Beach law firm’s Long Island office, said Tuesday that his request for resignations was not political.

“That’s ridiculous,” he said. “That’s not what this is about.”

Curran spokesman Philip Shulman said, “The county executive-elect asked her transition team to make sure this process was moving so that the transition period could commence.”

Garry and Shulman said it is common for incoming county executives to request employees who served at the pleasure of the previous administration to submit resignation letters. Former County Executive Thomas Suozzi, a Democrat, and Mangano made similar requests when they assumed office, Shulman said.

Curran will decide who will stay and who will go after reviewing employee resumes and background, Garry and Shulman said.

Curran did not respond to a request for comment about why she did not attend the meeting with Mangano.

Mangano also said in his letter to his appointees that “we have been further advised you may apply to the transition committee for a position by submitting a cover letter and your resume via email to www.Nassautransition2017.com.”

The county legislature’s Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves, an East Meadow Republican who did not seek re-election this fall, objected to directing applicants to the transition website.

“We have grave concerns that sending resumes for County employment to a private website paid for by Laura Curran’s political committee lacks both any transparency and is inappropriate,” Gonsalves said.

Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) declined to comment.

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