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Suffolk conservatives unhappy with Kennedy over firing

Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy speaks in Smithtown

Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy speaks in Smithtown on Oct. 21, 2014. Credit: Ed Betz

Suffolk Conservatives are sore that Republican Comptroller John M. Kennedy Jr. fired party member Bartolo Dalli, who has served as a deputy for six years, in favor of another aide who just failed a civil service test.

“I am upset why Bart was let go without a reason,” said Frank Tinari, newly elected Conservative chairman. “He worked there six years, he’s a CPA — which his replacement is not — and there has never been an issue with his work. I don’t understand how this could happen.”

Tinari said he has called Kennedy, Suffolk GOP chairman John Jay LaValle and state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport). “I’ve been assured I’ll get some sort of answer, but I haven’t heard yet,” Tinari said.

Dalli was let go to make room for Douglas Sutherland, who was chief deputy comptroller under Angie Carpenter, but became executive director of taxation and finance once the treasurer and comptroller’s offices merged two years ago.

Dalli had worked as deputy comptroller for the past six years, two for Kennedy and four for his predecessor Joseph Sawicki. His wife, Janine Barbera-Dalli, is former Smithtown Conservative chairwoman and now a Smithtown district court judge, elected in 2012. She is running this year as Conservative candidate for state Supreme Court without cross-endorsement.

Kennedy, however, does not owe his comptroller victory to the Conservatives because the minor party decided not to endorse anyone in his race two years ago.

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