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Gigante's promotion on hold - for now

Suffolk County Police Department patrol cars are pictured

Suffolk County Police Department patrol cars are pictured outside the department's 3rd Precinct in Bay Shore on May 3, 2017. Credit: Barry Sloan

Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory wants the promotion of Sgt. Salvatore Gigante to a prestigious and lucrative job supervising detectives in the district attorney’s office rescinded. 

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart want the legislature to bless Gigante with a nepotism waiver because the nominee’s uncle is Chief of Detectives Gerard Gigante.

But both sides are going to have to wait.

Gregory told The Point that the legislature’s Democratic caucus decided Tuesday that two resolutions, one approving the nepotism waiver and the other rescinding Gigante’s transfer, will be tabled in a Government Operations Committee meeting on Wednesday. The promotion will not be taken up again until a Department of Justice investigation of the promotion process regarding Gigante’s selection is completed.

Two minority applicants who were passed over for the position say they clearly are better qualified. 

But what Gregory says went on before the decision to table the two resolutions is troubling. The presiding officer had been going back and forth with Hart in a series of emails, asking for the resumes and applications of the applicants for the job, the details in the nepotism waiver and other information. At first, Hart asked for clarification of what exactly Gregory requested and then emailed him on July 5 saying he could review the information in her office this week.

But Tuesday morning, according to Gregory, a staffer from Bellone’s office called and informed him that his inspection of the documents would have to be postponed because the Police Benevolent Association wanted its attorneys to review the documents before Gregory saw them.

Gregory said he also had calls last week from the presidents of both the PBA and the Superior Officers Association expressing concern that privileged information would be released due to his requests, which led Gregory to ask that anything sensitive in what he was provided be redacted.

That apparently was not enough to satisfy Suffolk’s police union overlords. But the peculiar situation did at least convince the county’s legislators to call a timeout and wait for the Justice Department’s report.