Although Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino declined to comment Thursday on a Facebook post and emails from Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) accusing Republican supervisor of “a cowardly attack” on his daughter, Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, Santino’s counsel had no problem responding.
“Political attacks on Rosh Hashana and the devestation (sic) in Puerto Rico says something more about the attacker than the person they are attacking,” Santino’s counsel William Muller tweeted Thursday.
Muller then posted roughly the same thing on his Facebook page.
Laura Gillen, Santino’s Democratic challenger for supervisor, noted that Muller’s retort also came on Rosh Hashana — and on what appears to have been town time. Muller’s tweet has a time-stamp of 9:54 a.m., while the Facebook post appears to have posted at about 1:30 p.m.
Gillen, called it “outrageous and extremely hypocritical for William Muller to launch his own set of attacks, while denouncing others, and is made worse by the fact that he’s a highly paid Town employee who should have been working at his government-funded day job, not playing politics on the taxpayer’s dime.”
She said Muller, who earns $160,000 a year, should voluntarily disclose his internet browser history.
And if Muller is right and politics are wrong during this period, was it appropriate for Santino to post on his Facebook page and tweet Thursday that he had received an endorsement for re-election from Floral Park Mayor Dominick Longobardi?
Santino doesn’t mention that Longobardi works for him in Hempstead as an assistant to the sanitation commissioner. earning $146,132 last year.
Santino spokesman Michael Deery declined to comment.
Santino earlier this year received the re-election endorsement of another mayor and town employee: Lynbrook Mayor William Hendrick, a deputy town attorney whose salary was $111,125 last year.
Peter King’s attack on Santino came after Santino pushed through a town ethics package that caps elected officials’ outside income at $125,000 a year. That effectively bars King Sweeney and Councilman Bruce Blakeman, both attorneys, and other successful professionals from running for town board.
Santino also rejected King Sweeney’s and Blakeman’s call for an inspector general to review contracts.
King called the legislation, passed by a 4-3 vote of the town board, “a sham ethics package which basically just reaffirmed the status quo — except for one provision which had nothing to do with ethics reform but was a poorly disguised quasi bill of attainder aimed at driving Erin and Councilman Bruce Blakeman from the Town Board.”