Desk of Jack Schnirman: Nassau County’s need for a nepotism audit

During my inauguration as Nassau County comptroller, I spoke about the three guiding principles I set for this office: Investigation, innovation and independence.

One hundred days after taking office, we are seeing how those principles are helping bring accountability back to Nassau County government.

 At least one of those principles is woven into everything this office does, whether it be audits, investigations, financial analysis, or community empowerment.

Now, all three of those principles are coming together with the launch of our countywide Nepotism and Patronage Audit, which I announced on my 100th day in office.

 This audit strikes at the heart of what is wrong with the way Nassau County government has operated.

The reputation of Nassau County government has taken a hit with corruption scandals, and we are facing significant financial problems. We need the best and most qualified people to join with us to solve those problems.

 Public service is about giving back, not taking advantage of a broken system. That is why we are investigating how nepotism and patronage have corrupted the hiring and staff management practices of this county.

 This audit is an innovative undertaking; a nepotism audit of this scale has never been done before in Nassau County.

Because of that, we have put a tremendous effort into the planning stages to ensure a much-needed, thorough, and independent investigation to get actionable results.

 We aren’t interested in calling out a few high-profile names of people who have abused the system and simply walking away.

With this audit we are going to develop a comprehensive set of reform-oriented recommendations that will ensure the mistakes of the past cannot be repeated in the future.

 Ushering in a new era of government accountability doesn’t happen overnight, but by launching smart audits, asking the tough questions, and seizing opportunities we are driving forward to get answers the public deserves.

 We are committed to opening avenues through transparency, public engagement, and a push to fix our county’s broken contracting system. Above all else, we are reforming the way the county does business.

 We have generated significant findings during the first 100 days in office. As we identify the systemic issues facing the county, we are moving quickly to implement much-needed solutions.

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The Island Now

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