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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Nassau appointee makes a quick switch

Anish Berry of Manhasset Hills may have set a record for shortest time as a member of the troubled Nassau County Human Rights Commission.

His nomination to the panel by County Executive Edward Mangano was approved by the County Legislature on Monday March 8th, and he went to his first meeting of the commission that night.

The next Monday, he submitted his letter of resignation, dated that day, March 15th, because committees of the legislature were considering his nomination to the county Board of Health. The committees voted approval, and will be considered by the full legislature next Monday.

Why the switch from human rights to health?

“It was a better fit,” Mangano press secretary Michael Martino explained.

“A better fit,” Berry, who works in the medical field, said in a separate interview.

The spokesman and Berry said there would be no conflict between his role on the Board of Health and his day job: president of a medical testing firm that owns Doshi Diagnostic, which has about 20 centers in the region, three of them in Nassau County.

The new appointment came as something of a surprise to Donna Kass, the Board of Health member he will replace.

“My term was up, so I expected to be replaced, but nobody told me I was being replaced,” Kass, a Great Neck resident, said. “I have not been notified I’ve been replaced. I expect I’ll be getting a letter from the county executive thanking me for my service and making it official.”

Kass, a longtime public health advocate, is co-director LI Health Access Monitoring Project, and past president of the LI Coalition for A National Health Plan.

Legis. Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) voted against the Berry nomination, calling it, “a injustice to the public health system in Nassau County.”

“Sometimes, you have to look at who you are going to replace, and this (Kass) is a woman who saved NUMC (Nassau University Medical Center) as a public hospital and who has been a champion of health care in the county,” Jacobs said later.

Berry’s original appointment to the Human Rights Commission also came in unusual circumstances. His business partner, Tariq Shaikh, also of Manhasset Hills, was approved to the human rights panel on the same day.

Legis. Judi Bosworth (D-Great Neck) said she found the dual nominations “odd.”


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