Nassau Democrats are calling on Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves to allow a vote Monday on a referendum to create an independent inspector general for contracting, calling it the last chance to get the measure on the November ballot.
Democrats last month filed ballot petitions to get the referendum before voters during the November general election. But the law allowing the referendum remains under review by county attorney Carnell Foskey and has yet to be put on the legislative agenda.
The legislature Monday will reconvene its Aug. 1 meeting to vote on the proposed Garvies Point waterfront redevelopment in Glen Cove.
The county charter mandates that the law creating the referendum clear the legislature at least 60 days before the public vote. That approval process must be completed by Sept. 8; the legislature does not meet again until Sept. 12.
“It is unworthy of this legislature to attempt to hide behind false technical and procedural obstacles to avoid taking timely action to make the referendum possible,” Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams wrote in a letter Thursday to Gonsalves (R-East Meadow).
Gonsalves spokesman Matthew Fernando said Republicans “have concerns” about the constitutionality of the referendum and “potential conflict with state laws, and are awaiting the opinion of the county attorney.”
Fernando added that the creation of an inspector general “represents a drastic and unprecedented departure from any office authorized under any state or local law, and accordingly needs a thorough legal review.”
A Foskey spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Nassau’s contracting process has been under scrutiny since last year, when former state Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) was convicted of federal corruption charges, which included influencing the awarding of a county contract to a firm that employed his son, Adam. Dean and Adam Skelos are appealing.