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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Steve Bellone's double-reverse play

The Suffolk County executive again switched positions on a measure to allow an heir to buy back a Medford home lost for unpaid taxes.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is seen May

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is seen May 31. Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

Call it a political version of football’s old double-reverse play.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, who originally sponsored a resolution to allow an heir to buy back his late mother's Medford home lost for unpaid taxes — only to veto the measure because the house, according to officials, was the site of repeated illegal drug sales — changed positions again last week, when it came to legislative override vote.

“Yes. we support this,” said Amy Keyes, Bellone’s key legislative liaison.

Legis. Robert Calarco (D-Patchogue), in whose district the house is located, said another man who was the alleged drug dealer no longer resides there.

Officials said the late woman’s son, who became the owner, could not afford to pay the overdue property taxes and penalties, which amounted to $120,000. The son is seeking to regain ownership so he can sell the house and on the same day pay the county what is owed.

Keyes explained the veto was issued to give the county real estate office time to do research, “to be sure it was not being returned to the hands of a known drug dealer.”

If the sale had not been allowed to go through, officials say it would have taken the county three years for the property to be sold at auction and to recover lost tax revenue.

Legis. Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore), the minority caucus leader, said of Bellone's change in positions: “It’s sort of comical.”

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