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NCC trustee watch
The term of Anthony Cornachio, the controversial Nassau Community College trustee, officially ends on Friday, along with those of two others. Until Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo decides whether to reappoint them or choose new candidates, they will continue to serve.
Cornachio is essentially the eyes and ears of Nassau County Republicans, who have used the college as a patronage mine for decades. It was former Sen. Alphonse D’Amato who persuaded then-Gov. David A. Paterson to appoint Cornachio.
Over the years, Cornachio made his share of blunders and embarrassed the school — including calling an African-American student a “thug” and upending multiple searches for a new president. The board’s dysfunctional role in governing the college is one of the reasons why the accrediting Middle States Commission on Higher Education placed the school on probation.
And Cornachio saw no reason to resign even after he was indicted by state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman in November on charges that he ran flophouses for drug addicts in connection with a scheme to defraud Medicaid of $1.7 million. The next court date for Cornachio, who denies the charges, is scheduled for Aug. 16.
The Point asked the school’s spokeswoman whether he will be reappointed. “We don’t know, and we haven’t been informed about any of the governor’s decisions,” said Kate Murray, who slipped into her $150,000-a-year job after she lost the Nassau district attorney’s race in 2015. “We wouldn’t be surprised to see any of these trustees continue to serve, and until we know otherwise, they will.”
It was Cornachio who made the motion before a December board meeting to nominate Murray for the college post, saying said he had never met her and could not recall her first name, though he knew she was a “dynamo.”
He didn’t disclose that he had contributed to her campaign.
Rita Ciolli and Melissa Holzberg
Everyone knows where the mayor lives
New Hyde Park Mayor Lawrence J. Montreuil is one of two village mayors still negotiating with the state for additional money before they might come on board with the plan for the Long Island Rail Road third track.
By Friday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s capital review board has to either allow the plan to move forward or veto it. The board’s support hinges on the support of local state senators — and their support depends on mayors like Montreuil.
The mayor, who lives just a block from the LIRR tracks, would benefit from the sound wall that would be installed, dulling the railroad rumble and horns in the otherwise quiet residential neighborhood. The nearby Covert Avenue railroad crossing, which causes local traffic jams, is one of seven that would be eliminated.
But all of those improvements in New Hyde Park would be at risk if Montreuil doesn’t give a green light to the project. As of Tuesday morning, a small yellow sign remained on the front lawn of his home. “NO LIRR 3rd Track,” it says.
Montreuil didn’t return calls and emails for comment, but if his negotiations with the state are successful, there’ll be only one question left: Will he remove the sign? And if his opposition kills the $1.9 billion project, does he really want anyone to know where he lives?
Randi F. Marshall
Little online shop of horrors
On the job at the scene
State Sen. Michael Gianaris might be from Queens, but he was quickly on the scene of a Harlem subway derailment that injured dozens early on Tuesday.
The deputy Democratic leader arrived even before appearances by new MTA chairman Joseph Lhota and Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the City Council’s transportation committee and an upper Manhattan representative.
Why? It was a good opportunity to remind riders and reporters of his Better Trains, Better Cities legislation, in which proposes a new dedicated funding stream for the beleaguered MTA. Gianaris has circulated a petition urging legislators to stay in Albany to start fixing the MTA.
With surging delays, increased crowding, and fights over who’s at fault and in control, the subways are rising as a political hot potato, and Gianaris didn’t let the mini-crisis, especially one with TV cameras, go to waste. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (who effectively controls the MTA), on the other hand, didn’t show up.
“The city needs to do more, the state needs to do more,” Gianaris said just outside a shuttered 125th Street entrance to the downtown A. He said there was a lot of “finger-pointing” about the state of the subways, but not “solutions.”