Former Smithtown Town Board candidate Tom Lohmann has gained support as a leading candidate to fill the seat that opens up Jan. 1 when Supervisor-elect Ed Wehrheim takes office, vacating his council seat.
Wehrheim and Councilman Tom McCarthy have said they support appointing Lohmann, a Republican who ran as a Conservative and Independent on Wehrheim’s slate as a council candidate in November after failing to secure the GOP nomination in a four-way primary against incumbents Thomas McCarthy and Lynne Nowick. Both incumbents held on to their seats.
“I would suggest to the board that Mr. Lohmann would make an excellent councilman,” Wehrheim said in a phone interview. “He was well-received by hundreds and hundreds of residents that we encountered door-to-door, and I believe he presented his platform well in debates and meet-the-candidates” events.
Lohmann, is an assistant special investigator for the Suffolk County district attorney and part-time police officer at Head of the Harbor Village, where his brother is police chief. He spent most of his career as an NYPD homicide detective. His resume also lists stints working in corporate security and insurance crime.
“I’m prepared, if I’m fortunate enough to get that” council appointment, Lohmann said, adding he would resign from his job at the district attorney’s office to work full time on the town council.
According to Lohmann’s resume, he worked from 2013 to 2015 as director of corporate security for Owl’s Nest Inc. He said his employer was “a private family,” but declined to name the family. New York Department of State documents show Owl’s Nest Inc. chief executive as billionaire Robert Mercer who with his daughter Rebekah have become prominent supporters of conservative causes. Owl’s Nest is the name of Mercer’s Head of the Harbor estate.
During the campaign, Lohmann said he would prioritize downtown revitalization and revamping the town code, outsourcing the work to specialists and drawing on comments from town hall meetings. He also said he would seek to place town representatives on the boards of overlapping tax districts with the goal of reducing residents’ overall tax bill.
Lohmann finished last out of six candidates in the November election, with 5,394 votes.
Other candidates who have submitted resumes for Wehrheim’s council seat are Amy Fortunato, who ran unsuccessfully on the Democratic line in November; former Smithtown Central School District trustee Joseph Saggese; businessman Mike Rosato; and planning board members Thomas Unverzagt and William Marchesi.
At least three town council members must vote to appoint the candidate to the board. Nowick said in a message she was still reviewing resumes. Inzerillo did not respond to a request for comment.
McCarthy said he would follow Wehrheim’s lead on the appointment. “If that’s the man he supports, I will back him,” McCarthy said of Lohmann. “He would not give us a non-qualified person.”
Additionally, a number of town officials have submitted letters to Wehrheim requesting reappointment to their jobs. They include Planning Board Chairman Conrad Chayes, who backed outgoing Supervisor Patrick Vecchio in the fall primary, Town Attorney Matt Jakubowski, Comptroller Donald Musgnug and Town Engineer Mark Riley, whose terms expire Dec. 31.