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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Levy ex-parks director to direct Pines panel

John Pavacic, who Suffolk Executive Steve Levy dumped as parks commissioner, will take over next month as ther $110,000 a yeaer executive director of Central Pine Barrens Commission.

Pavacic, a well regarded parks professional, was told he is being replaced by Conservative activist Joseph Montouri, who had been in charge of Heckscher State Park in Great River. Critics claim was connected to Suffolk Conservative chairman Edward Walsh’s backing of Levy for governor. Levy denies any political motive and says Montouri is an innovative parks professional.

Pavacic’s appointment was approved by the Suffolk Water Authority board Monday to replace Ray Corwin who ran the commission since its formation but died unexpectedly last month.

Levy had offered Pavacic a lower level planning job as liason to the Council on Environmental Quality, but Pavacic rejected the offer.Levy aides say a resolution to appoint Montouri will be filed before the legislature at the June 8 meeting.

The water  board also approved a five year contract for former Levy aide Jeff Szabo, a Democrat, as the authority’s $172,00 a year chief executive officer, succeeding Republican Stephen Jones who had the same salary. Szabo, who has been Jones' deputy in recent months, officially takes over tomorrow.

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