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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Nassau's deputy presiding officer is outspoken

The new deputy presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature has taken an active role in legislative proceedings in his first two months.

Legis. John Ciotti (R-North Valley Stream) jumps in frequently to chide Democrats or steer witnesses, often without asking to be recognized by Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa), who sits next to him.

Ciotti cuts in and then argues, sometimes at length, often with Democrats Kevan Abrahams of Hempstead, Wayne Wink of Rosyln and David Denenberg of Merrick.

Schmitt does not cut Ciotti off, usually, and intervenes only when Democrats complain that they had the floor before the interruption.

Ciotti went a bit too far Monday when he jumped into the conversation while a fellow Republican, Legis. Denise Ford of Long Beach, was questioning a speaker.

“John. I have the floor,” Ford said sharply.

Ciotti, who had spent much of the session sparring with Democrats, clammed up.

Schmitt never had to lift his gavel.


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