The Babylon Town Board has hired Alan Schneider, who was fired after 36 years as head of Suffolk’s Civil Service department, as a consultant to help the town set up its own civil service office so it does not have to rely on the county.
Town Supervisor Richard Schaffer said the move would make Babylon the first Suffolk town with its own civil service office. In Nassau, Hempstead and North Hempstead towns have civil service operations.
Schneider will be paid $90 an hour with a cap of $50,000, although Schaffer said he “does not expect it to come close to that.”
Schneider will work with Town Attorney Joseph Wilson to work out details of the civil service plan, and Schneider said he hopes the necessary formal resolutions can be passed by September. Once the civil service system is enacted, state law requires a yearlong transition before full implementation can occur, Schaffer said.
The civil service system would cover Babylon, and town, school, library and fire districts in the town. The villages of Lindenhurst, Babylon and Amityville also could opt to use the town civil service.
Schneider was fired as Suffolk civil service chief in February shortly after his most recent term had expired.
Schneider said he legally remained a holdover until Bellone nominated and the county legislature confirmed a replacement.
Bellone named Joanne Taormina as acting county personnel director, but three months after the announcement has yet to put her name before county legislators for confirmation.
Schneider originally tried to fight the firing. He won a temporary court order to block his removal but resigned without explanation after Bellone said he intended to hire outside attorneys to “probe a personnel issue in civil service.”
Bellone aides had no immediate comment about Babylon's hiring of Schneider, or the status of the administration's investigation.
Schaffer said he had no concerns about the county probe. “I’ve known Alan for 36 years and he has always been a very principled administrator on whom both sides of the aisle have relied,” Schaffer said.
Schaffer also said Schneider's consulting contract has no connection to his long-running political feud with Bellone, and said Schneider has expressed no interest in running the town civil service agency.