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Valley Stream man named to NIFA

A Valley Stream resident has been appointed to the state oversight board controlling Nassau’s finances.

Dermond Thomas, 35, was recommended by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and appointed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to the only open seat on the Nassau Interim Finance Authority’s seven-member board.

NIFA chairman Ronald Stack confirmed Thomas’ appointment yesterday to the unpaid post, vacant since David Peirez resigned in 2004.

The governor appoints four members while the state comptroller, the Senate majority leader and the Assembly speaker each get one recommendation.

Thomas, a registered Democrat, said several members of the Democratic-controlled Assembly forwarded his name to Silver, but did not identify them. Assemb. Earlene Hooper, deputy speaker, said yesterday Silver had conferred with her and she supports Thomas’ appointment.

With a degree in economics from Amherst College and a law degree from Columbia University Law School, Thomas said yesterday he has worked as a merger and acquisitions attorney, advising on corporate mergers and takeovers. “I do understand synergies, efficiencies and generally speaking, how entities work and how we can make them run better,” Thomas said. “Government is very necessary but it can be run more efficiently.”

Thomas lost a race for the 14th Assembly District seat last year and was elected to the village board this spring.

County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican, “looks forward to working with Mr. Thomas to address Nassau’s finances without increasing property taxes,” a spokeswoman said.

NIFA took control of the county’s finances in January after finding a $176-million deficit in Nassau’s $2.6-billion budget.



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