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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

GOP acts to recoup control of Nassau OTB

The Nassau legislature’s new Republican majority is moving to take control of the county’s off-track betting agency.

Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa) has submitted the names of two Republicans, Joseph Bentivegna of Levittown and Frank DeStefano of Farmingdale, and Independence Party member Eric A. Harkin of Wantagh, for appointment by the legislature to the three-member OTB board of directors. State law requires at least one of the three belong to different political party.

The OTB board appoints the president of the agency, which has long been a patronage stronghold for the party in power.

Bentivegna, a former Hempstead deputy parks commissioner and former member of the OTB board, is close to Nassau Republican Chairman Joseph Mondello.

DeStefano is a retired Oyster Bay parks commissioner who served in the early 1970s as the Nassau GOP committee’s press secretary.

Harkin works as an engineer helper at the Town of Hempstead’s Merrick Golf Course.

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