By Sarah Ibrahim
Concerns about Floral Park Police Commissioner Steve McAllister took center stage at the West End Civic Association’s Candidates Night last Thursday.
McAllister, an inspector with the New York Police Department before becoming police commissioner in 2010, was named one of 10 unindicted co-conspirators in an NYPD corruption case that went to court last year.
Jurors in Manhattan federal court delivered a split verdict on the matter in January, finding a businessman involved guilty and a former NYPD Deputy Inspector not guilty.
Former Hillcrest Civic Association President Nadia Holubnyczyj-Ortiz, who is running for trustee, spoke about the lack of transparency by the village administration concerning how accusations and allegations against McAllister were treated. Instead of going through the correct channels, there was a private meeting with the village administrator, McAllister, and the village attorney and it was decided that McAllister had committed no wrongdoings. She said this was not investigated to the satisfaction of the residents.
Floral Park Mayor Dominick Longobardi, who is running unopposed for re-election, responded to her comment and said “there has been no credible evidence presented to us that in any way shape or form that McAllister was guilty of any crime.”
Holubnyczyj-Ortiz, who is hoping to unseat either Trustee Lynn Pombonyo or Trustee Frank J. Chiara, said her campaign is about civic engagement. She said she is “not here to tear things apart or change things but to bring a fresh new perspective.”
Pombonyo and Chiara are running with the mayor on the Citizens’ Party ticket.
Holubnyczyj-Ortiz also spoke about her desire for committees to be more open to the public, so that residents can be more engaged.
Longobardi addressed this by saying that members of the public need to let the board know about their interest to join or start a committee and they would be more than happy to involve them.
He even used Holubnyczyj-Ortiz as an example and said that when she came to him and said she wanted to be on the Recreation Pool Committee, she was immediately given a spot.
Pombonyo spoke about her background within Floral Park as well as being a trustee with the board.
Chiara also described his work as a trustee and, in particular, stressed all the hard work the volunteers within Floral Park have put in to make it a great village.
Pombonyo is running for her third term and Chiara for his second term.
Justice Douglas Hayden, who is running unopposed, could not attend due to a previous engagement, so his speech was read by President of the West End Civic Association Marc Mullen.
Ending statements for all present encouraged the Floral Park residents to go out and vote March 19.
Voters in Floral Park can vote from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Reliance Firehouse in District 1, the pool and recreation building in District 2 and 3 and the Atlantic Avenue firehouse in District 4.
New Hyde Park voters can vote at village hall from noon to 9 p.m.