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Angelo J. Ferrara, ex-North Hempstead finance official, sues town, claims discrimination

Angelo Ferrara, 66, of Floral Park, met with

Angelo Ferrara, 66, of Floral Park, met with the media at lawyer Thomas F. Liotti's Garden City Office, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, to announce a lawsuit against his former employer, the Town of North Hempstead, for alleged age, sex, and ethnic discrimination. Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

A former North Hempstead Town deputy finance commissioner has filed a notice of claim over his dismissal, alleging he was fired last year because of "gender, age and ethnic bias."

Angelo J. Ferrara, 66, a Floral Park Democrat, had worked 21 years for the town as deputy comptroller and then deputy commissioner of finance.

The town board voted 5-1 to fire Ferrara and six other town employees at its Dec. 10, 2013, meeting, according to a board personnel resolution. The termination dates varied, but his took effect Jan. 1, the date Democrat Judi Bosworth began her term as supervisor.

Ferrara -- no relation to Republican Town Councilman Angelo P. Ferrara -- said at a news conference Wednesday in his attorney Thomas F. Liotti's Garden City office he was "discriminated against based on my age and gender, and my ethnicity."

Ferrara, a native of Naples, Italy, said he believes he was discriminated against for being Italian-American.

Town Attorney Elizabeth Botwin said Wednesday morning in an emailed statement: "We have not yet received any papers and we will review and evaluate the claim when it comes in."

The claim notes he is age 66, "had no plans to retire" and "had hoped to work for at least another" decade. "Even without raises, that amounts to $970,000 plus benefits and additional pension funds," the claim said.

Liotti said Bosworth had announced a "preference for women over men" for key leadership posts, citing an August Wall Street Journal report, "Women Take the Lead at Town Hall."

The article noted that 10 of 13 upper-management slots in North Hempstead are held by women.

Bosworth is quoted in the article as saying: "I didn't choose them because they're women. I'm gender neutral. I chose the people who would do the best job. It just so happens those were women."

Town officials did not comment further.

Liotti said Ferrara was fired and the town hired Kim Kaiman, wife of former Supervisor Jon Kaiman.

The town board in January unanimously appointed Kim Kaiman the executive director of the quasi-governmental Business and Tourism Development Corporation, with the title of deputy commissioner of finance -- at a salary of $78,000.

Ferrara had the same title, but town spokeswoman Carole Trottere said in an email that his job was not filled by Kaiman but "was divided between two deputy comptrollers and another part-time staff person in that office who went to full time."

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