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Port Jefferson board terminates treasurer in unanimous vote

The Port Jefferson Village Hall is shown in

The Port Jefferson Village Hall is shown in this undated photo. Photo Credit: Jasmin Frankel

Port Jefferson officials have fired the village’s treasurer after a little more than a year on the job.

David Smollett, 63, of Lynbrook, a veteran municipal administrator who previously worked for the villages of Lawrence and Farmingdale, was terminated Thursday in a 5-0 vote of the village board during a hastily called special meeting.

Mayor Margot J. Garant said Smollett had not been reappointed to the position during the board’s annual reorganizational meeting in July. Since then, Smollett had worked for the village as a “holdover” employee, she said.

“Dave was not a good fit for the village of Port Jefferson,” Garant said Friday in a telephone interview. “I think he had a very strong business acumen . . . but we needed more of a treasurer who was going to be stronger in the accounting and actually working the books.”

Garant added that Smollett had been due to make about $83,000 this year.

Deputy Treasurer Arta Wentjen has been appointed interim treasurer, Garant said.

In a telephone interview Friday, Smollett said he was not fired but left as part of a “mutual agreement” with Port Jefferson officials. He described his departure as “amicable.”

“I had some health issues that did not allow me to continue on,” Smollett said, adding that he plans to “stay in the industy and do some consulting.”

He declined further comment.

Smollett was hired by Port Jefferson in August 2015 to replace former treasurer Don Pearce, who left to work for Riverhead Town.

Smollett initially was appointed interim treasurer for 60 days while Port Jefferson officials searched for a permanent treasurer. He eventually was hired to fill the post.

Garant said Wentjen has “strong accounting” skills and “many, many years of experience in the treasurer’s office,” including previous stints working for the villages of Ocean Beach and Saddle Rock.

“We’re very much looking forward to working with her,” Garant said.

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