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Bickering on Nassau politicians' agenda

When the Nassau County Legislature meets, there’s always enough time on the agenda for some partisan bickering.

The Monday session featured Legis. John Ciotti (R-North Valley Stream) against Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick.) The topic was political hiring. The subjects of the attack were Richard Bianculli, a Republican up for an appointment to a hospital board, and Patrick Yngstrom, not a Mangano administration favorite, who had been forced out as acting head of the county’s Veterans Service Agency and was being defended by Democrats.

Democrat Denenberg asked Bianculli whether he was campaign treasurer for Joseph Mondello, the county GOP chairman. Bianculli said he was.

A few minutes later, Republican Ciotti jumped in to note that Yngstrom’s son, Daniel, worked in Denenberg’s legislative office.

“I never would have brought that up but for the fact that they attacked you personally,” Ciotti said to Bianculli, who was still standing at the speaker’s lectern.

“Tell the truth,” Ciotti said, turning toward Denenberg. “The first thing you should have said today when you started to speak was, ‘Oh, by the way, that acting commissioner’s (Yngstrom’s) son works for me.’ That’s credibility...the first thing you should do is disclose your motivation...Everything you said today was tainted. Everything you said today was biased.”

As Ciotti talked, Denenberg tried to interrupt several times.

Legis. Peter Schmitt of Massapequa, the Republican presiding officer, had to bang his gavel repeatedly to get silence.

“We’re going to have one speaker at at time here,” Schmitt said. “Try to keep your bickering to a minimum.”

Denenberg said he had supported the elder Yngstrom back in 2002 when Democrats tried to force him out after Democrat Thomas Suozzi became county executive. “The fact that his son started working for me two years ago, I guess it shows I’m a Democrat who’s willing to hire Republicans,” Denenberg said.

Although several people at the hearing thought Patrick Yngstrom was a Republican, his voter registration form lists no party enrollment. His son's registration is also "blank," but the last name is misspelled in the records.

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