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Judith Jacobs presses Cuomo to name new NIFA chairman

Nassau Legis. Judith Jacobs

Nassau Legis. Judith Jacobs Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau County Legis. Judith Jacobs is calling on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to appoint a new head of the county’s fiscal oversight board, which has been without a leader since former chairman Jon Kaiman departed more than two weeks ago to run for Congress.

Jacobs (D-Woodbury) asked Cuomo in a Feb. 22 letter to immediately replace Kaiman and Nassau Interim Finance Authority member Adam Haber, who is leaving the board next month to run for the State Senate.

“NIFA cannot properly function without appropriate leadership,” Jacobs wrote. “Extensive and important contracts will be left unexamined, budget conflicts will go unresolved, and negligent decisions made by the current administration will go without scrutiny.”

Kaiman chaired his final NIFA meeting on Feb. 3 and officially departed the job on Feb. 8. He is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the seat held by Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington), who is not running for re-election.

The NIFA board, which controls the county’s finances and must approve contracts over $50,000, cannot meet until Cuomo appoints a new chairman.

“NIFA is critical to maintaining financial stability in Nassau County,” Jacobs wrote. “We have 15 years of evidence to support that. Kept without an efficient, determined chairman, however, NIFA will become inconsequential.”

A Cuomo spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment about a NIFA appointment.

“Not a single contract goes to NIFA without Judy Jacobs’ review,” said Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin. “We hope the state acts swiftly and appoints nonpartisan members.”

Former Nassau Comptroller Howard Weitzman, a Democrat, has expressed interest in the post.

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