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Anthony Santino adviser keeps up the fight

Anthony Santino is applauded as he leaves his

Anthony Santino is applauded as he leaves his final Hempstead Town Board meeting as supervisor on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017 in Hempstead Credit: Howard Schnapp

Former Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino’s $150,000-a-year senior policy adviser Matt Coleman is still acting as a spokesman for his former boss although his town job ended Dec. 31.

In an email to Newsday Tuesday, Coleman denounced a report by new Democratic Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, who defeated Santino in November, about the town’s response to the Jan. 4 blizzard.

Three days after Gillen took office, a snowstorm dumped more than a foot of snow in parts of Long Island and generated complaints about snow clearing from residents of both counties.

Gillen’s report said communications between Hempstead departments and supervisor accountability need to be improved.

Gillen also noted that Santino had consolidated equipment maintenance staff at facilities in East Meadow and Merrick. Gillen said she expects to relocate mechanics and equipment to more locations across the town, which has 1,200 miles of roadway to clear. She also plans to replace older snowplowing vehicles.

Coleman, who had also served as Republican Santino’s campaign spokesman, said to attribute the following emailed statement to Santino, who works at the county Board of Elections:

“It’s sad that the best Laura Gillen can do is blame me for her utter failure in dealing with her first snowstorm as Hempstead’s chief executive. In my first two years as Supervisor, by all public accounts, my administration did a solid job clearing Hempstead’s streets. Now with all the same personnel and the same equipment . . . Gillen says her epic fail is my fault? Seriously? American’s largest township deserves better than a supervisor who won’t take responsibility for their own shortcomings.”

Santino concluded: “Laura, perhaps, going to Albany to hobnob with the governor the day before the storm wasn’t the best idea after all.”

Gillen, like new Democratic County Executive Laura Curran, took a day trip to Albany Jan. 3 for Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s State-of-the-State speech.

Gillen spokesman Michael Fricchione responded, “While it’s sad the former supervisor cannot accept the election results, we welcome him into the 2019 election. His utter disdain and disregard for residents through bullying, patronage and corruption are the hallmarks of a failed administration that he can try to explain to the public.”

Coleman was one of only a few Santino top aides who did not get transferred into a different job by the Republican-controlled town board in December. The board approved 192 other personnel moves during that meeting, which was Santino’s last as supervisor.

Coleman could not be reached. Santino began working as a $160,000-a-year Republican administrative assistant at the Nassau Board of Elections at the end of December.

With Stefanie Dazio

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