Oyster Bay Inspector General Brian Noone will resign Friday after being sidelined from his contract oversight duties since March following his recommendation that the town approve a $2 million contract with a company that records showed is tied to his private business.
Noone, whose actions are under investigation by the Nassau County District Attorney's Office, submitted a resignation letter Tuesday that named Friday as his last day, the document shows.
His resignation comes three weeks after a Newsday report revealed a town ethics board probe was launched after Noone recommended the award of a cybersecurity contract to a vendor whose owner is listed as the cybersecurity practice leader for Noone's company, Nova Venture Partners.
Noone, 76, of Syosset, defended himself against what he called "libelous allegations" in a resignation letter addressed to Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino and other town board members.
WHAT TO KNOW
- Oyster Bay Inspector General Brian Noone is resigning, effective Friday
- Noone has been sidelined from his duties overseeing town contracts since late March
- Nassau prosecutors are investigating after a town ethics board review of Noone's approval of a proposed $2 million town contract for a vendor records showed is tied to his private business
- Noone called allegations against him "libelous," saying he served "without conflict or self-interest"
"It has become evident that my employment is a distraction to the operations of government in the Town of Oyster Bay," it also said in part.
The letter added: “Out of respect for my family, friends, and the taxpayers, I shall step down and address these nefarious claims in a more appropriate venue than the bowels of social media or the gutters of political theater."
The letter from Noone, whose career included 28 years with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and a National Grid corporate security job, didn't address the investigation by prosecutors.
But he wrote that he had "served the Town faithfully, without conflict or self-interest."
Noone didn't respond to requests for comment Thursday.
Town officials said earlier this month that they had been in communication with District Attorney Anne Donnelly's office for several weeks and had turned over materials to prosecutors. Donnelly's office also previously confirmed that a probe was underway.
A Donnelly spokesman declined to comment Thursday.
Noone continued to collect his $154,000 annual salary after retired State Supreme Court Justice Angelo Delligatti assumed his contract-related duties on March 24, Newsday previously reported.
The same day, the town board and town attorney referred the $2 million contract proposal for vendor Enterprise Security Solutions LLC — which legislators had tabled on March 21 — to the ethics board.
The town board in 2019 appointed Noone as Oyster Bay's first inspector general to police contracts in the wake of a corruption scandal connected to former Oyster Bay concessionaire Harendra Singh that landed former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and his wife in federal prison.
While county executive, Mangano appointed Noone to an honorary position as a Nassau County Police Department assistant commissioner — a position Noone stepped down from when he became inspector general.
In a statement Thursday, Saladino said the town board at its meeting Tuesday plans to adopt "enhanced disclosure requirements that mandate increased transparency."
He said the inspector general's office has continued its work "uninterrupted."
Saladino's statement added: "Safeguarding our taxpayers and integrity is the Town Board's top priority. That's why we created the Office of Inspector General in 2019, and it's why we referred this matter to the Ethics Board immediately upon learning of it."
The ethics board cleared Noone of any conflict of interest, a finding Noone cited in his resignation letter. He wrote that the "allegations and falsehoods have been determined by an independent Board of Ethics to be categorically unfounded" and that he looked forward "to this truth being verified."
Oyster Bay ethics board attorney Steven Leventhal, who handled the probe that cleared Noone, previously said he conducted an interview with the inspector general as part of the investigation, but didn't interview the owner of the company that Noone recommended for the $2 million contract.
Following Newsday's initial story on Noone's sidelining, a coalition of Democrats called for his firing and for the town's ethics board to be disbanded.
Oyster Bay Democratic Committee leader David Mejias on Thursday criticized the Republican town supervisor for an ethics board "that rubber stamps corruption in Oyster Bay" and called for an independent commission that would appoint members to the board.
"It's pay to play in Oyster Bay until you get caught," Mejias said.
Of Noone he added: "It's pretty clear that he did something wrong."
In his resignation letter, Noone also praised his response to a 2021 cyberattack on Oyster Bay's computers, saying his efforts "in consultation with others, quickly and effectively identified weaknesses in the Town's computer network and addressed those deficiencies with enhanced cyber protections."
Noone played a role in hiring companies during that cyberattack that are linked to his private business, Newsday previously reported.
Noone wrapped up his letter by expressing thanks for the opportunity to serve as inspector general.
Then he added: "May God bless the United States of America and its citizens and fix this broken political system in which guilt is assumed prior to innocence."
With Ted Phillips