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Mangano's dual appointment surprises, confuses lawmakers

Republican Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano says he has saved taxpayers money by having the county's human resources commissioner also act as investigations commissioner.

But he never told his Republican colleagues on the county legislature that Diane Ialenti held both posts, and GOP legislators were blindsided when her nomination to an obscure county board came up for approval Monday at committee meetings.

The nomination to the Deferred Compensation Board slipped through the Finance Committee this week, although committee member Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick) questioned whether her dual roles created a conflict of interest.

The Republican presiding officer, Peter Schmitt of Massapequa, said he was listening to the Finance Committee hearing on intercom in a back room and decided to table the nomination when it came up afterward at the Rules Committee, which he chairs.

"It came out. The Democrats were aware - we were not - that she is also serving as investigations commissioner . . .," Schmitt said. "Since nothing in the resume submitted to us indicated she was serving in both capacities, it was tabled until the next meeting."

The resume submitted to the legislature showed Ialenti's last job had been chief of staff to Assemb. Rob Walker (R-Hicksville), who resigned his state post to be chief deputy to Mangano at the beginning of the year.

Schmitt said he was unsure of whether Ialenti had a conflict and that he thought the investigations job should be eliminated. Any future potential wrongdoing by county employees could be investigated by prosecutors, he said.

Democrats said they thought there was an inherent conflict in Ialenti's roles. "I think it's a conflict of interest for anyone to serve simultaneously as human resource director and as commissioner of investigations," Minority Leader Diane Yatauro (D-Glen Cove) said.

Mangano released a statement saying consolidation of the two roles would save taxpayers more than $150,000 a year. "We have inquiries in to the legislature as to why they are questioning any effort to make Nassau County more efficient and protect the taxpayers," the Mangano statement said.

Schmitt said he was awaiting word from Mangano. Mangano aides could not explain why an outdated resume was sent or why Mangano didn't inform GOP colleagues of the dual appointments.

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