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Islip Town gets 2nd subpoena in Sandy cleanup probe

The Suffolk County district attorney's office has issued another subpoena for records in the Town of Islip as part of its investigation into how contracts were awarded for cleanup after superstorm Sandy and how workers were paid, a town official said Tuesday.

Islip Town spokeswoman Inez Birbiglia wrote in an email that on Friday the town received a "follow-up inquiry" from the district attorney's office. She did not say what town records the subpoena seeks.

The inquiry followed a subpoena issued to Islip on March 12 that sought records that municipal officials must keep to show compliance with state labor law on "prevailing wage" provisions and whether workers were paid legal wages, Newsday has reported.

Sources told Newsday that the investigation in Islip is also focusing on the political process used in selecting debris-removal contractors.

Newsday also has reported that District Attorney Thomas Spota's office has served the towns of Brookhaven, Babylon, Huntington and Smithtown with subpoenas for records related to Sandy cleanup efforts.

Birbiglia said that Islip officials "would continue to assist the district attorney's office with its investigation."

Last week, Spota confirmed that his office began investigating local governments in early February. The district attorney's office is using auditors from county Comptroller Joseph Sawicki's office as part of its probe, Spota said.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice also is investigating how county officials entered into emergency contracts with companies doing storm cleanup.

Four weeks ago, Rice's office issued subpoenas to Nassau County and Looks Great Services Inc. of Huntington seeking documents related to $70 million in cleanup work that company did after the Oct. 29 storm.

A Looks Great official has said the firm is being fully cooperative with authorities.

New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is also investigating emergency contracts awarded to companies doing cleanup work on Long Island after superstorm Sandy, Newsday has reported.The attorney general "has received information and complaints," and has launched an investigation of "contracts on Long Island related to Sandy cleanup and how those contracts were obtained," a source told Newsday.

Federal records show that as of two weeks ago, across Long Island, towns, villages and the counties had undertaken projects totaling $247.5 million, for which $178.1 million has been disbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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