A Nassau legislative committee on Monday approved the nomination of Jodi Franzese, a senior inspector general in the New York City Department of Investigation, as the new inspector general to monitor county contracting.
The new office is expected to review, investigate and research contracts between Nassau County and its vendors to ensure the integrity of the procurement process.
Franzese, whose nomination requires approval of the full Nassau Legislature, would earn a salary of $150,000, according to budget estimates, and her office would receive more than $550,000 for staff.
She would be independent of the county executive and have subpoena power, legislators said.
The move to hire Franzese, of Massapequa, comes as former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano faces a retrial next month on federal corruption charges.
Mangano, 56, was indicted in October 2016 and accused by federal prosecutors of trading county contracts for personal gifts and a $450,000 no-show job for his wife, Linda.
The Manganos pleaded not guilty.
In reaction to their cases and others, Democratic legislators had pushed to create the office and had declined to provide the votes to authorize county borrowing for expenses other than public safety for nearly two years until the GOP-controlled Legislature agreed to hire an inspector general.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, a former Democratic legislator from Baldwin who took office Jan. 1, ran on an anti-corruption platform.
At the city Department of Investigation, Francese, 47, manages investigators, attorneys, auditors, policy analysts, peace officers and data analysts who conduct confidential and specialized investigations into allegations of corruption, official misconduct and fraud, according to her resume.
She also served as an assistant Suffolk County district attorney from 1998 to 2015.
A bipartisan panel received expressions of interest from more than 30 applicants and conducted a national search, said Legis. Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park), leader of the GOP majority and co-chairman of the search committee.
Nicolello said Franzese would have “broad power and will be involved in every aspect of county government.”
Legis. Kevan Abrahams, (D-Freeport), leader of the minority, said he was encouraging his caucus to support Franzese's appointment.
“Our plan for the last two years was to have an independent authority who is reviewing the procurement process in the county — especially since the procurement processes in the previous administration was flawed," Abrahams said.
The legislature is expected to vote on Franzese's nomination Dec. 17.