Weeks after announcing he was seeking re-election to the Syosset Board of Education, Nassau County Legislator-elect Joshua Lafazan (D-Syosset) has resigned from the seat.
Lafazan, who will be sworn into office at Jericho High School on Thursday, originally won the seat in 2012 as a Syosset High School senior, earning him the title of the youngest elected public official in New York at 18 years old.
On Sunday, however, Lafazan announced that he was “legally forced to resign” as of 11:59 p.m. on New Year’s Eve based on a clause in the Nassau County Charter which prohibits county legislators from serving in any other public office.
According to the charter, “no county legislator shall hold any other public office or be an employee of the county.”
“I remain steadfast in my belief that my service as a county legislator should not preclude me from serving in the office of school board member — an unpaid, volunteer position, most often held by mothers and fathers with no political backgrounds or affiliations whatsoever,” Lafazan said in a statement. “Though I resign this evening from the Syosset school board, I plan on pursuing various courses of action to fight to stay on the board.”
The charter defines the legislator position as a part-time office, and legislators are allowed to be employed elsewhere.
Lafazan said the Board of Education is responsible for employing a superintendent, passing a district budget and codifying school district policies and he does not see a conflict of interest between the two positions.
“Serving on the Syosset school board has been amongst the greatest honors of my life, and I’m so grateful for the voters who took a chance on an 18-year-old back in 2012,” Lafazan said. “I hope my fight over the next few months will render me legally eligible to continue to serve them for years to come.”
Lafazan said he will continue to attend Syosset board meetings while living full-time in Syosset.
Lafazan defeated Donald MacKenzie (R-Oyster Bay) for the county’s District 18 seat in November with 55.9 percent of the 14,436 votes in the district.
The district includes East Hills, Greenvale, Woodbury, Syosset, Laurel Hollow, Oyster Bay Cove, Oyster Bay, Cove Neck, Centre Island, Bayville, Mill Neck, Lattingtown, Locust Valley, Matinecock, the Brookvilles, Muttontown, East Norwich and Glen Head.