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2 comptroller aides fail civil service test, expected to change jobs

Two high-level aides to Suffolk Comptroller John Kennedy have failed the competitive civil service test and will lose their current jobs. But county sources say they are expected to get new jobs, displacing others already in the department.

Those affected are Douglas Sutherland, who is Kennedy’s $135,772-a-year executive director of taxation and finance, and Douglas Segall, who is a $65,433-a-year research technician and also serves as Kennedy’s spokesman.

Alan Schneider, personnel director who heads the civil service department, said both men failed to score 70, the passing grade on their exams. Both held their jobs on a provisional basis, meaning there was no civil service list for their posts when they were hired. Each had to take a competitive test to keep their jobs on a permanent basis.

Sutherland took his test in June and learned he had failed in August. His current job will last until mid-October. Seven passed the test and Bellone’s chief budget examiner, Kim Brandeau, scored highest with 95 percent; two other comptroller aides were also among the top scorers.

Segall took his test in in June and found out he did not pass late last month. He has until mid-November to leave his current job. Ninety-two people passed the test for Segall’s post. Kennedy must choose among the three top scorers willing to take those jobs.

Kennedy did not returns for comment late Tuesday. The aides declined comment.

County sources say that Sutherland will take the position of $111,000-a-year Deputy Comptroller Bartolo Dalli. Dalli, who will depart, was a certified public accountant in private business before joining the office last year. Segall will take the position now held by Theresa Kopp, the $94,000-a-year assistant to the county comptroller. Kopp, who was expected to retire by year’s end after 30 years with the county, will leave earlier.

Sutherland, a 24-year county veteran started as an aide to Legis. Angie Carpenter in 1992 and became her chief deputy, a civil service-exempt position, when she was elected as county treasurer 2006. He became acting treasurer for six weeks after Carpenter left to become Islip supervisor. He remained as chief deputy after Bellone appointed budget aide Barry Paul to head the agency until the comptroller’s and treasurer’s offices were merged.

Sutherland, 57 of Babylon, earned $151,615-a-year as chief deputy until the meger and he moved to his current title, maintaining county bank accounts, managing cash flow and taking in property tax money.

Segall, 58, of Farmingville, is a former executive for a private telephone firm, has also been involved the printing business with his wife and in the past has been a contender for Brookhaven Republican chairman and later town Democratic chairman. In addition to serving as Kennedy’s spokesman, Segall is spearheading work on the county’s new computerized financial management system.

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