Suffolk’s Republican Elections Commissioner Nicholas LaLota won a new four-year term in his $144,000-a-year post Monday after the seven-member GOP caucus voted him in unanimously.
LaLota said he was “humbled by the confidence expressed in me by the Republican caucus.”
Leg. Tom Cilmi, GOP caucus leader, said there was no debate and no dissent. “There was no arm twisting. Everyone was in support,” he said.
LaLota said there was no connection between the caucus’ vote and his appointment Friday of new $126,204-a-year deputy commissioner Irene D’Abramo and Mark Gallo as his $110,708-a-year senior assistant commissioner.
The appointment came after the Democratic-controlled county legislature earlier this month refused to adopt a resolution for LaLota’s new term under an emergency resolution authorized by Democratic County Executive Steve Bellone.
Republicans said the resolution needed to be expedited so the legislature could act within the 30-day time period required under state law once a party leader makes a recommendation for an election commissioner’s appointment.
Democrats balked because terms of the Republican and Democratic elections commissioners are not up until year’s end. Such appointments are handled together after both appear before legislative committee.
Democrats also say a vote should have been delayed to allow the county comptroller to finish an audit of time sheets of election officials. The review was spurred by Democrats questions over LaLota’s day time attendance. He is a part-time student at Hofstra Law School.
LaLota said he meets the work requirement for his elections job while going to school. He accused Democrats of politicizing the issue.