County lawsuit draws ire of the PBA

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County lawsuit draws ire of the PBA
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran

On the cover of its most recent newsletter, the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association made clear how it felt about County Executive Laura Curran.

“United! Against Labor” the headline read, according to Newsday, over a picture from election night of Curran holding her hand up in the air with Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs.

The union’s ire comes from a decision by the Curran administration earlier this month to sue five of the county’s public unions to invalidate an agreement made under the Edward Mangano administration.

The five unions, who were sued separately, were the Civil Service Employees Association, the Police Benevolent Association, the Superior Officers Association, the Corrections Officers Benevolent Association and the Detectives Association Inc.

Last September, a memorandum of agreement was reached between the unions and Rob Walker, then the chief deputy county executive. The agreement increased longevity bonuses paid to municipal union members and guaranteed no layoffs through July of this year.

When details were released to the public, Curran criticized the agreement and then-County Attorney Carnall Foskey, a Mangano appointee, wrote in a letter to the unions that the agreement “exceed[ed] the ordinary terms and usual substance of a MOA.”

Earlier this year the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, which has the final say on the county’s budget, refused to allow longevity pay.

PBA President James McDermott told Newsday last week that the contracts were “100 percent legitimate” and claimed that Curran had insinuated that she would honor the contracts during the campaign.

Efforts to reach McDermott for further comment were unavailing.

When asked if Curran had insinuated that during the campaign, spokesman Michael Martino said that he would not comment on anything that is in court.

Walker pleaded not guilty in February to charges of obstruction of justice and lying to FBI agents as part of a federal investigation into corruption in Nassau County and whether public officials received money from contractors.

Walker’s mother, Rose Marie Walker, is a member of the Nassau County Legislature.

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