Former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), shown in 2022.

Former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), shown in 2022. Credit: Craig Ruttle

Democrat Tom Suozzi is in the national spotlight as he vies with Republican candidate Mazi Melesa Pilip in the Feb. 13 special election to replace expelled former Rep. George Santos, a Republican who fabricated much of his resume as he campaigned for Congress in 2022.

Both Suozzi and Pilip are running on their records in public office and their personal back stories.

Suozzi, 61, of Glen Cove, represented the 3rd District from 2017 until 2023. He served as Nassau County executive from 2002 until 2010 and as mayor of the City of Glen Cove from 1994 until 2002.

In independent vetting of both Suozzi and Pilip, Newsday reporters reviewed their resumes, checked with the employers and colleges they cited and examined numerous public records to confirm many of the details they have shared publicly.

Here's what we know, and can confirm, about Suozzi:

Suozzi graduated from Boston College in 1984 with a degree in accounting from the Carroll School of Management, a spokesman for Boston College confirmed to Newsday. He graduated from Fordham University School of Law in 1989, according to a Fordham spokesman. He graduated from Chaminade High School in Mineola in 1980, a school spokesman said.

Suozzi worked for Arthur Andersen & Co. from 1984 to 1986, according to his LinkedIn page. The accounting firm closed in 2002. In 1989, Suozzi began a one-year clerkship for Thomas Platt, a U.S. District judge in the Eastern District of New York, a court spokesman confirmed. He worked at the law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP from 1990 until 1993, according to a firm representative.

Suozzi was defeated by Republican Edward Mangano in the 2009 Nassau County executive's race. Afterward, Suozzi worked as a senior adviser for Lazard, the investment and asset management firm, according to a news release the company sent out in April 2010. In an email, a company spokeswoman confirmed Suozzi's employment from 2010 to 2012.

Suozzi also was of counsel at Harris Beach, a Uniondale law firm, from 2010 until 2016, Thomas Garry, the firm's managing partner and vice chairman of the Nassau County Democratic Committee confirmed. Suozzi joined Actum LLP global consulting firm as a co-chairman in 2023. In a news release announcing his hiring, the firm said Suozzi brought “a wealth of experience and a deep network to Actum, which will help guide the company’s global client base.” Suozzi resigned from Actum after announcing his campaign for Congress in October.

Suozzi is “trained as a CPA,” according to his campaign website. He was licensed as a certified public accountant in 1987, but his registration expired in 2012, according to the New York State Education Department, which maintains professional licensure records. Suozzi is registered to practice law, state records show. He was admitted to the New York State bar in April 1990 in the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department.

In Suozzi's most recent filings with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, he listed ownership stakes in several companies and real estate ventures.

He has a 10% interest in HCDC Holdings LLC, an East Hampton day camp run by Jay Jacobs, the Nassau and state Democratic chairman who nominated Suozzi to run in the 3rd District special election. Suozzi also holds a 3% interest in Southampton Country Day Camp LLC, another of Jacobs' camps.

Suozzi holds a 6% stake in Iselin Holdings LLC, a rental property in West Orange, New Jersey. He has a 1% interest in SGC Commercial II LLC, a “real estate development project” in Sarasota, Florida, his filing said.

In 2021, Jacobs' HCDC received a Paycheck Protection Program loan of approximately $350,000 that was later forgiven, according to the U.S. government’s pandemic oversight website. Suozzi was part of a bipartisan coalition in Congress that supported hundreds of billions of dollars in aid to allow businesses to continue paying employees during COVID-19 shutdowns. He had no role in approving individual applications.

In 2021, the House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into Suozzi’s alleged failure to properly report approximately 300 financial transactions. According to the federal STOCK Act, members of Congress must report stock trades within 45 days of the transaction. The trades must be reported in a filing known as a “Periodic Transaction Report.”

Suozzi said he reported those trades, but only in his year-end financial disclosure reports to the Clerk of the House.

After a yearlong investigation, the House Ethics committee cleared Suozzi and two other members of Congress, Republicans Pat Fallon and Chris Jacob, for such stock transactions.

Suozzi said the errors stemmed from a misunderstanding about what type of trades had to be reported immediately.

Those trades, he said, were made at the sole discretion of his broker.

Suozzi said he did not know broker-directed transactions had to be included in the periodic filings. He said he thought they could be included in the year-end reports. The committee said there was no evidence the omissions were “knowing or willful.”

Suozzi in his interview with House Ethics Committee members said: “I have always prided myself on the fact that I have been very, very careful about following the rules and making sure I did things properly,” according to a transcript published by the committee. 

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which works to elect Republicans to the House and backs Pilip, criticized Suozzi over another issue in an online memo in December titled “Tom Suozzi is not Good for Long Island.” In one section, headlined “Tom Suozzi is all in … For Tom Suozzi,” the NRCC referred to his use of campaign funds to pay rent for his congressional office in space he owns in Glen Cove.

Suozzi owns the rental space through Ruvo Realty LLC, and paid the company $37,860 in rent for his office suite at 3 School St. in Glen Cove, Federal Election Commission records show. Suozzi made payments to Ruvo in 2020 and 2021, but has made none since, according to FEC filings.

Suozzi adviser Kim Devlin said the campaign had received a legal opinion from an ethics attorney who handles compliance issues.

"This was asked and answered three years ago," Devlin said. "It was a straightforward transaction pre-approved by ethics attorneys and fully disclosed. The campaign office lease was below fair market value, fully compliant, and was discontinued in 2021."

As mayor of Glen Cove, Suozzi returned a Land Rover the local dealership had rented for the mayor's office for $1 per year.

In 1996, a local Land Rover dealership rented to the city a Portofino Land Rover Discovery for the mayor's use, according to stories in Newsday's archives. The dealership billed the city $1 per year for the vehicle, which was valued at more than $35,000.

Suozzi said at the time: “I naively thought there could be no governmental or political downside. It would be bad for my reputation and for the city's reputation to keep the car, and that would be intolerable.”

Suozzi ended up returning the car, citing a possible conflict of interest. The dealership’s landlord, Luyster Motors, had eight property tax grievances pending before the City of Glen Cove. Joseph A. Suozzi, Tom’s father, worked at the law firm that handled the tax protest.

Suozzi is named as a defendant, along with other officials, in multiple federal and state lawsuits against Nassau County or members of Congress. They range from prisoners alleging misconduct at the county jail to improper dismissals, according to the county's Civil Service statutes. It is common for elected officials to be named in lawsuits against the municipalities they lead.

Suozzi is married to Helene Wrotniak Suozzi. They have three children.

With Paul LaRocco

Democrat Tom Suozzi is in the national spotlight as he vies with Republican candidate Mazi Melesa Pilip in the Feb. 13 special election to replace expelled former Rep. George Santos, a Republican who fabricated much of his resume as he campaigned for Congress in 2022.

Both Suozzi and Pilip are running on their records in public office and their personal back stories.

Suozzi, 61, of Glen Cove, represented the 3rd District from 2017 until 2023. He served as Nassau County executive from 2002 until 2010 and as mayor of the City of Glen Cove from 1994 until 2002.

In independent vetting of both Suozzi and Pilip, Newsday reporters reviewed their resumes, checked with the employers and colleges they cited and examined numerous public records to confirm many of the details they have shared publicly.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Special election, Feb. 13: 3rd Congressional District, U.S. House of Representatives.
  • The candidates: Former 3rd District U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi, 61, a Democrat from Glen Cove. Nassau County Legis. Mazi Melesa Pilip, 44, of Great Neck, who is running as a Republican.
  • About the job: The winner in 2024 will serve out the remaining two-year term of expelled U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-Nassau/Queens). The salary is $174,000 annually. Republicans hold an eight-vote majority in the House.

Here's what we know, and can confirm, about Suozzi:

Education

Suozzi graduated from Boston College in 1984 with a degree in accounting from the Carroll School of Management, a spokesman for Boston College confirmed to Newsday. He graduated from Fordham University School of Law in 1989, according to a Fordham spokesman. He graduated from Chaminade High School in Mineola in 1980, a school spokesman said.

Employment

Suozzi worked for Arthur Andersen & Co. from 1984 to 1986, according to his LinkedIn page. The accounting firm closed in 2002. In 1989, Suozzi began a one-year clerkship for Thomas Platt, a U.S. District judge in the Eastern District of New York, a court spokesman confirmed. He worked at the law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP from 1990 until 1993, according to a firm representative.

Suozzi was defeated by Republican Edward Mangano in the 2009 Nassau County executive's race. Afterward, Suozzi worked as a senior adviser for Lazard, the investment and asset management firm, according to a news release the company sent out in April 2010. In an email, a company spokeswoman confirmed Suozzi's employment from 2010 to 2012.

Suozzi also was of counsel at Harris Beach, a Uniondale law firm, from 2010 until 2016, Thomas Garry, the firm's managing partner and vice chairman of the Nassau County Democratic Committee confirmed. Suozzi joined Actum LLP global consulting firm as a co-chairman in 2023. In a news release announcing his hiring, the firm said Suozzi brought “a wealth of experience and a deep network to Actum, which will help guide the company’s global client base.” Suozzi resigned from Actum after announcing his campaign for Congress in October.

Certifications

Suozzi is “trained as a CPA,” according to his campaign website. He was licensed as a certified public accountant in 1987, but his registration expired in 2012, according to the New York State Education Department, which maintains professional licensure records. Suozzi is registered to practice law, state records show. He was admitted to the New York State bar in April 1990 in the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department.

Financial disclosures

In Suozzi's most recent filings with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, he listed ownership stakes in several companies and real estate ventures.

He has a 10% interest in HCDC Holdings LLC, an East Hampton day camp run by Jay Jacobs, the Nassau and state Democratic chairman who nominated Suozzi to run in the 3rd District special election. Suozzi also holds a 3% interest in Southampton Country Day Camp LLC, another of Jacobs' camps.

Suozzi holds a 6% stake in Iselin Holdings LLC, a rental property in West Orange, New Jersey. He has a 1% interest in SGC Commercial II LLC, a “real estate development project” in Sarasota, Florida, his filing said.

In 2021, Jacobs' HCDC received a Paycheck Protection Program loan of approximately $350,000 that was later forgiven, according to the U.S. government’s pandemic oversight website. Suozzi was part of a bipartisan coalition in Congress that supported hundreds of billions of dollars in aid to allow businesses to continue paying employees during COVID-19 shutdowns. He had no role in approving individual applications.

Ethics

In 2021, the House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into Suozzi’s alleged failure to properly report approximately 300 financial transactions. According to the federal STOCK Act, members of Congress must report stock trades within 45 days of the transaction. The trades must be reported in a filing known as a “Periodic Transaction Report.”

Suozzi said he reported those trades, but only in his year-end financial disclosure reports to the Clerk of the House.

After a yearlong investigation, the House Ethics committee cleared Suozzi and two other members of Congress, Republicans Pat Fallon and Chris Jacob, for such stock transactions.

Suozzi said the errors stemmed from a misunderstanding about what type of trades had to be reported immediately.

Those trades, he said, were made at the sole discretion of his broker.

Suozzi said he did not know broker-directed transactions had to be included in the periodic filings. He said he thought they could be included in the year-end reports. The committee said there was no evidence the omissions were “knowing or willful.”

Suozzi in his interview with House Ethics Committee members said: “I have always prided myself on the fact that I have been very, very careful about following the rules and making sure I did things properly,” according to a transcript published by the committee. 

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which works to elect Republicans to the House and backs Pilip, criticized Suozzi over another issue in an online memo in December titled “Tom Suozzi is not Good for Long Island.” In one section, headlined “Tom Suozzi is all in … For Tom Suozzi,” the NRCC referred to his use of campaign funds to pay rent for his congressional office in space he owns in Glen Cove.

Suozzi owns the rental space through Ruvo Realty LLC, and paid the company $37,860 in rent for his office suite at 3 School St. in Glen Cove, Federal Election Commission records show. Suozzi made payments to Ruvo in 2020 and 2021, but has made none since, according to FEC filings.

Suozzi adviser Kim Devlin said the campaign had received a legal opinion from an ethics attorney who handles compliance issues.

"This was asked and answered three years ago," Devlin said. "It was a straightforward transaction pre-approved by ethics attorneys and fully disclosed. The campaign office lease was below fair market value, fully compliant, and was discontinued in 2021."

As mayor of Glen Cove, Suozzi returned a Land Rover the local dealership had rented for the mayor's office for $1 per year.

In 1996, a local Land Rover dealership rented to the city a Portofino Land Rover Discovery for the mayor's use, according to stories in Newsday's archives. The dealership billed the city $1 per year for the vehicle, which was valued at more than $35,000.

Suozzi said at the time: “I naively thought there could be no governmental or political downside. It would be bad for my reputation and for the city's reputation to keep the car, and that would be intolerable.”

Suozzi ended up returning the car, citing a possible conflict of interest. The dealership’s landlord, Luyster Motors, had eight property tax grievances pending before the City of Glen Cove. Joseph A. Suozzi, Tom’s father, worked at the law firm that handled the tax protest.

Lawsuits

Suozzi is named as a defendant, along with other officials, in multiple federal and state lawsuits against Nassau County or members of Congress. They range from prisoners alleging misconduct at the county jail to improper dismissals, according to the county's Civil Service statutes. It is common for elected officials to be named in lawsuits against the municipalities they lead.

Family

Suozzi is married to Helene Wrotniak Suozzi. They have three children.

With Paul LaRocco

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