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Lawmakers seek examination of Nassau minority contracting

Nassau County Legislature Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport),

Nassau County Legislature Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport), left, and County Comptroller Jack Schnirman, right. Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang, Barry Sloan

Four Nassau County Democratic legislators are asking county Comptroller Jack Schnirman to conduct a "comprehensive examination" of county contracting with businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans. 

A letter to Schnirman signed by lawmakers including Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) pointed to understaffing in the county Office of Minority Affairs, whose mission is to encourage partnerships between the county and minority businesses. For instance, the agency lacks an executive director, and Democratic lawmakers have expressed concern that the office does not have adequate resources. 

"We are greatly concerned about the agency's ability to "carry out its critically important duties and responsibilities in compliance with the Charter," the legislators wrote. 

Schnirman's office is reviewing the request. 

"This is an important issue that our Office has been putting a real emphasis on addressing, so we welcome this request," Schnirman spokesman Rob Busweiler said in a statement. 

Christine Geed, spokeswoman for Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, said Curran is, "proud of the work her Administration has done to create a new standard for inclusiveness in Nassau County’s business community. We have more work to do to open doors of opportunity for all our residents," and Curran will work with lawmakers and Schnirman "to build on the progress we’ve already made.”

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