Nassau County legislative candidate Dean Hart, a Democrat running against first-term Republican legislator Donald MacKenzie, is now looking for help in locking up corrupt politicians by handing out thousands of handcuffs to commuters at train stations.
The cuff for one hand carries the message, “END CORRUPTION IN NASSAU COUNTY AND OYSTER BAY,” which Hart says in a news release refers to Oyster Bay concessionaire Harendra Singh, who has been charged by federal prosecutors with bribing a town official in exchange for the town's guarantee of $20 million in loans.
Hart also pointed to the recent arrest of Edward Korona Jr., former head of the county print shop who was recently promoted by County Executive Edward Mangano and given a raise of more than $40,000 annually to be Nassau’s deputy director of emergency management. The district attorney charged that Korona lied on job applications about a past criminal conviction. Lawyers for Singh and Korona have denied the charges.
The cuff for the other hand reminds commuters to “VOTE DEAN HART” on Nov. 3.
“Every morning the voters wake up tired and angry,” Hart said. “We pay almost the highest property taxes in the nation, only to see it squandered on lucrative salaries and out of control contracts with zero to no transparency.”
He added, "At least the voters have something to laugh at when I say there's a special pair [of handcuffs] for Ed Mangano and it doesn’t come with a key.”
Hart, a Glen Head optician, has promised that he will not take a county salary or a public pension. He also says he has refused campaign contributions and is paying for his own race. Hart has called for politicians to detail the cost to taxpayers of putting their names on public property, from municipal buildings and road signs to garbage cans, traffic cones and even golf pencils. He wants a ban on contributions from county and town vendors and said he will pay $1 million from his own pocket to a forensic accountant to look into trips by Mangano allegedly financed by Singh, who employed Mangano’s wife. Mangano’s lawyer has disputed the allegations.
Neither MacKenzie nor Mangano immediately returned a request for comment.