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Bill to fire Suffolk police commish causes ruckus

During a raucous Suffolk Legislature meeting last night, one lawmaker introduced a bill to fire Suffolk Police Commissioner Richard Dormer while another compared a Steve Levy aide to a Nazi official.

Legis. Jon Cooper (D-Lloyd Harbor) said Dormer has told him privately that the department needs more officers while publicly stating the opposite.

“I have lost confidence in the police commissioner,” Cooper said. “That’s how and why I came to this decision.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy blasted the proposal to remove his most high-profile appointee. “The Legislature wants to fire a commissioner who lowered crime by 20 percent,” Levy said.

Cooper’s announcement came during the middle of a discussion about whether legislators should require the department to seek the Legislature’s approval before making major policy changes.

Legis. Jack Eddington (I-Medford) said legislative control is necessary because Dormer and other Levy aides have mislead lawmakers. In doing so, he compared Levy’s legislative liaison, Ben Zwirn, to Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s minister of propaganda.

Zwirn said he was shocked at Eddington’s comparison. “Never have I been so offended in the six years I have stood in this spot,” said Zwirn, who is Jewish. “I find it absolutely reprehensible.”

Eddington refused to back off his comments in public, though he later apologized to Zwirn privately.

The measure was tabled.

In other action, lawmakers delayed a vote to conduct an environmental impact study of land in Yaphank that would be sold to build the Legacy Village project, putting off for at least a month progress on the proposed $400-million venture. Lawmakers also adopted a resolution to place GPS tracking devices on the county’s homeless sex offender population.

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