A former Brightwaters trustee with close ties to Mayor Joseph A. McNulty has been appointed interim head of the village's Public Works and Highway Department.

McNulty announced the appointment of Charles Fischer to the post at the village board's Monday night meeting and said a search committee would be convened to find a permanent replacement.

Fischer was a member of the Citizen's Party who served as a trustee for 12 years before resigning earlier this year. The post pays $62,400 annually, village officials said.

McNulty elevated Fischer, who had been working as a laborer in the department since earlier this year, after director George Peterson resigned June 22. The appointment did not require a board vote, said village attorney John P. Finnerty.

Fischer had resigned from the board after a November board vote that rescinded health care benefits to board members. Fischer, who received the benefit -- which cost taxpayers $72,000 annually -- for about two years beginning when he lost his banking job, had pushed to keep the benefits but ultimately voted to stop them. In his interim position, he'll receive health benefits.

Reached at his office Tuesday, Fischer said he had no comment.

McNulty, who is also a member of the Citizen's Party, said he had appointed Fischer based on his experience and dismissed any notion that it amounted to a political favor.

"He has managerial experience [from] working in the banking industry in the city," said McNulty. "He was on the board . . . He knows the contracts. He knows the workings of it. He has the education."

McNulty did, however, acknowledge he and Fischer are friends. "I like Charlie very much; I hold him in high regard," McNulty said.

In other business, McNulty and incoming trustees John Riordan and Denise Gibson were sworn in to begin two-year terms. McNulty ran unopposed and Gibson and Riordan, who was appointed to the board when Fischer resigned, beat challenger Diana Urso for the at-large seats.

The board also voted unanimously to decrease the fee from $200 to $100 for resident permits to store small boats and kayaks at the village harbor.

Riordan said the price "just seemed a little bit out of line." The six people who purchased permits for 2012 will receive refunds, he said.

SBU takes back housing offers … Cannonball train … Stunt pilot Ken Credit: Newsday

Man found guilty in death of cousin ... Air Show presser ... What's Trending ... FeedMe: New East End restaurant

SBU takes back housing offers … Cannonball train … Stunt pilot Ken Credit: Newsday

Man found guilty in death of cousin ... Air Show presser ... What's Trending ... FeedMe: New East End restaurant

Latest videos

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME