Ford, Clavin call for Schnirman and Gillen chief to resign

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Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin and County Legislator Denise Ford are calling for resignations. (Photo courtesy of Michael Caputo)

Donald Clavin, Hempstead tax receiver and Republican candidate for town supervisor, and Legislator Denise Ford of Long Beach are calling for the resignation of County Comptroller Jack Schnirman and Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen’s chief of staff over their payouts in Long Beach.

“Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen has made bold proclamations about her commitment to ethical standards,” Clavin said. “At the same time her Chief of Staff, Jim LaCarrubba, has been named in news reports as one of the subjects of a highly controversial payout controversy in the City of Long Beach.”

The calls come after an Aug. 17 Newsday report that Schnirman, a Democrat, was paid for more sick days than he was entitled to after six years as Long Beach city manager, receiving $108,000 for unused time when he resigned in January 2018. He received about an extra $6,640, according to public records.

According to Clavin and the Newsday story, Schnirman received full payment for his unused sick time while city code limits payment to 30 percent of accumulated sick days.

The Newsday article also said that investigators, as well as state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, have been investigating Long Beach payouts for more than a year.

Clavin’s office said that as a county comptroller, Schnirman’s role is to administer Nassau’s payroll division and auditing claims for payment to ensure accuracy and appropriateness. With the revelations in the Newsday report, Clavin and Ford are calling for his resignation.

“Jack Schnirman is Nassau’s Comptroller, charged with overseeing audits into issues such as the overpayment of municipal employees,” said Ford, who caucuses with the Republicans.  “That is part of his duty as Comptroller. Accordingly, he should resign immediately.”

Rob Busweiler, Schnirman’s spokesman, said, “Being lectured on ethics by Nassau Republican politicians like Denise Ford who did nothing to stop the corruption of Ed Mangano is the height of hypocrisy,” referring to former County Executive Edward Mangano.

Busweiler referred to Schnirman’s nepotism survey that he plans to send to county employees this week, saying, “This partisan political attack from the Republican machine will not stop the Comptroller from pursuing an aggressive reform agenda led by his nepotism audit series.”

Clavin also referred to a June 20 Long Beach Herald article about Singas’ probe into the city of Long Beach that also involved LaCarrubba, who served as Long Beach’s commissioner of public works before joining Gillen’s staff.

According to Clavin’s office, the article “contended that he was also part of the investigations related to payouts he took from Long Beach after leaving employment from the city.”

The Herald article also said that at least three City Council members in Long Beach had thought that LaCarrubba was a part-time employee at the time of his payout at Long Beach when he actually resigned as a full-time employee.

“A City Council member said he was investigated and several Council members indicated that they did not know he was a full-time employee of the city at the time of his termination,” Clavin said. “Is this the type of person that the Laura Gillen administration wants as its chief of staff?”

Gillen’s representatives, like Schnirman’s, suggested that Clavin look inward.

“It’s fascinating that when one corrupt Republican official after another in Clavin’s Cabal was led off in handcuffs, Silent Don said nothing,” said Gillen’s campaign manager, Michael Ousley. “Maybe it’s because Clavin has benefited from the corruption tax that Long Island families pay. Instead of attacking, shouldn’t Clavin be explaining?”

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