Laura Curran touts Nassau anti-corruption proposals

4
1485
Nassau County Legislator and county executive candidate Laura Curran (D-Baldwin) speaks in front of her home in January 2017. (Photo by Noah Manskar)

Nassau County Legislator Laura Curran (D-Baldwin) would aim to install an independent inspector general and create term limits for officials if she is elected county executive this year, she said Thursday.

Curran laid out eight anti-corruption proposals that would largely strengthen existing ethics measures in county law as a way to fight what she called a “culture of corruption” among Nassau’s top officials, citing Republican County Executive Edward Mangano’s indictment on federal corruption charges in October.

“We pay the highest taxes, and what do we get in return?” Curran said at a news conference outside her Baldwin home. “Indictments, nepotism, cronyism, favoritism — you name it.”

Curran and the six other Democratic Nassau legislators have pushed for an independent inspector general’s office to oversee and investigate the entire county government since 2015.

In Curran’s plan, the inspector general, whom an independent body would appoint, would work alongside a strengthened commissioner of investigations, an official appointed by the county executive who should be his or her “eyes and ears,” Curran said.

Curran also wants the county executive, clerk and comptroller limited to two four-year terms, and county legislators to six two-year terms, she said, noting Suffolk and Westchester counties have similar provisions.

Her other proposals include strengthening the county ethics code and protections for whistleblowers, requiring additional financial disclosures for county employees, ending nepotism in hiring for public jobs and making the county ethics board a bipartisan body with a rotating chair. Its members are currently appointed by the county executive.

Most of Curran’s proposals would require approval from the Republican-controlled county Legislature, which, along with Mangano, has stonewalled Democrats’ efforts to implement reforms in the wake of several corruption scandals relating to county contracts.

“I would dare any legislator, any public official, to stand up before their taxpayers, whether they’re a Democrat or Republican, and say we don’t need these reforms,” Curran said.

Curran, a second-term county legislator and former Baldwin school board trustee, is among four Democrats seeking to replace Mangano, a second-term Republican who pleaded not guilty in October to federal charges stemming from an alleged bribe and kickback scheme with restaurateur Harendra Singh.

Mangano’s wife, Linda, and former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto were also indicted. All have pleaded not guilty.

Other Democrats running include state Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) and county Comptroller George Maragos, a former Republican who was elected alongside Mangano in 2009 and 2013.

Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman is considering formally entering the race and sent a fundraising pitch to supporters on Thursday.

Brian Nevin, a Mangano spokesman, called Curran’s claims “mudslinging tactics” and said the ethics reforms Mangano and the Legislature have enacted are “some of the most comprehensive and transparent” in the country.

The Legislature last year lowered the threshold for legislative approval of county contracts to $1,000 from $25,000, and Mangano hired a procurement compliance director to oversee Nassau’s contracting system.

“Laura Curran’s policies require legislative action, just as Laura voted to nearly double her own pay, she should vote to implement her own reforms,” Nevin said in an email.

Curran announced her proposals a day before the state Board of Elections’ Jan. 13 deadline for collecting campaign donations that must be publicly reported this week.

Also on Thursday, Maragos announced that he had hired Hank Sheinkopf, a political consultant who was worked for Michael Bloomberg and Bill Clinton, as his head campaign strategist.

Sheinkopf has worked on more than 700 political campaigns and was previously a political consultant for the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association, the county’s largest police union.

“Our campaign needs a steady, experienced hand who can assemble a team of top professionals to take on the insiders for the people of the county,” Maragos said in a statement. “That’s why I chose Hank Sheinkopf as my general strategist.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. What is Laura’s position on police worn body cameras to protect the integrity of investigations into excessive force abuses by police officers against Nassau County residents who taxes pay their salaries and lawsuits(!) Then ask her about Naasau County’s (former) Executive leader Thomas Gullota’s federal order, following the Thomas Pizzuto’s death (1999) that implemented new reform policies that DA Dennis Dillon proposed to the legislature. Surveillance Cameras estimated to cast in excess of $2 million tax-payers dollars. Thomas Pizzuto, like Darryl Woody, was begging for his (prescribed) medications, when he too was attacked, beaten, brutalized by jail guards at NCCC. Darryl Woody was attacked by seven correctional guards that claimed that he had attempted suicide by slashing his wrists and neck , while on 1to1 constant-watch (suicide supervision) in a suicide prevention cell(!) Darryl was beaten and repeatedly tortured four separate instances that lasted seventeen hours before he was transported to NUMC’ s Mental health wing. Day’s later, Darryl Woody, while “still” on 1to1 constant-watch; under doctors care, was said to have been “Found Hanging!” The medical examiner ruled it; Death by asphyxiation_hanging(!) How is an innocent, mentally-ill pre-trial detainee who was denied medications and medical treatment at the jail Found Hanging” when he was under 24 hours constant watch following two earlier (reported) attempts and a mental history? This is a homicide that’s being cover-up as a suicide by hanging at NUMC. All caught on Video Surveillance Cameras at NUMC and at NCCC> The jail blames NUMC. The Medical Center blames NCCC. Both conspire to violate Darryl Woody’s Human and Civil Rights by [hiding the truth] about Darryl Woody’s death by asphyxiation. Darryl’s [suspicious] death was captured on Video Surveillance Cameras That (former) County Executive Thomas Gullota was ordered installed by the feds following Thomas Pizzuto’s beating death. (federally indicted) Ed- sticky-fingers -Mangano breached his duties by conspiring to obstruct justice in Darryl Woody’s death investigation using his office to manipulate and deny access to the damning evidence that proves Darryl Woody’s January 3, 2011death, while on suicide-watch at NUMC, is a homicide being covered-up as a suicide NUMC, NCCC, and Nassau County’s [corrupt] Executive and legislative members that on the jails Advisory Board and failed to produce or review the government [ordered] installed, Da requested, legislature approved, government protected files_ the Video(s)! Malicious Tampering is a felony in New York State!. What’s NUMC, NCCC, Nassau County’s (federally indicted) racketeering ‘Boss Ed sticky-fingers – Mangano and his crony appointed operatives and cohorts on the bench,”Have To Hide?” “We Can Handle The Truth!” “Release The Video(s)!” “Now!” This is a “Major Scandal! How did Nassau County’s homicide Squad fail to review then take into evidence_the Video Surveillance Recordings? So what is Laura Curran’s position on this Matter Of Darryl Woody’s Human and Civil Rights to a Due process and a fair trial in Nassau County’s (corrupt) Supreme Courts that’s represented by all the states evidence testimonies, witnesses and Video Surveillance Files. Darryl Woody “Can’t get Justice in Nassau County Courts where motions for review of Darryl’s Video Surveillance Files are being injudiciously denied by the presiding justice. This is a political hit-job by a corrupt regime operating out of Nassau County’s Sheriff’s Department aided, abetted, and facilitated by Norma Gonsalves and her politically compromised associates on the Committees that over-sees the jail. They are all complicit in this cover-up for fail to show Due Diligence in this Matter Of Darryl Woody. Pizzuto’s death got Cameras installed in NCCC and in NUMC’s prison medical wing. Darryl Woody’s death, while “still’ on 1to1 suicide-watch, was captured on these Video Cameras approved by the legislature. This is a “Major Scandal!” This is a homicide! Trial Date: November 13, 2017. Index: 017721/2011. Ask Laura Curran to “What About Darryl Woody!” His death was caught on Video(s)! Ask that she as Executive Candidate can make her stand by filing a FOIl Request at Nassau County’s Sheriff’s Department where Sheriff Michael J. Spasato’s wife Elizabeth Loconsolo heads the FOIL Request Appellate Division_A Conflict Of Interest! ‘Talking about integrity(!)’ From Thomas Pizzuto’s death (1999) to Bartholomew Ryan death (2012)… “What About Darryl Woody! January 3, 2011 at NUMC/NCCC. Index: 017721/2011.

  2. Records: Nassau knew of Armor lawsuits before approving contract

    Laura Curran: NUMC a symbol of ‘culture of corruption’
    Updated October 3, 2017 6:41 PM
    Democratic Nassau County executive candidate Laura Curran on Tuesday called the county’s public hospital “another symbol of the culture of corruption,” citing recent reports about hiring practices and withholding of public records.
    Curran, a county legislator from Baldwin, stood across the street from Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow. She called the hospital a “critical resource”…
    Records: Nassau knew of NUMC’s lawsuits before approving contract  Four (preventable) suicides deaths  in one year!!

    Loconsolo repeatedly reminded lawmakers that the allegations that Armor was negligent in the inmates’ deaths haven’t been proven in court. She also noted that inmates died when Nassau University Medical Center was the jail’s health-care provider… 

    “What About Darryl Woody!” January 3, 2011, while “still” on 1to1 [constant] Suicide Supervision at NUMC under doctors treatment. His death was capture on Video Surveillance Cameras at NUMC and NCCC. The Medical Center blames NCCC. The Jail blames NUMC. Both conspire to hide the truth about Darryl’s true cause of “death by asphyxiation”_a homicide! Jury selection November 13, 2017. at the (corrupt) Supreme Courts in Mineola, N.Y. Index: 017721/2011

  3. Video Monitors Planned for Troubled Nassau Jail
    Facing a Federal investigation of reports of abuse by guards at the county jail, the Nassau County Executive, Thomas S. Gulotta, announced today a series of initiatives, including the installation of surveillance cameras throughout the troubled correctional center. Mr. Gulotta said the surveillance system would permit the jail to monitor and record events in all inmate areas, including housing, recreation, visiting, transportation, holding, booking and medical locations and connecting hallways.
    March 9, 1999

    A Proposal For Cameras In Nassau Jail
    The Nassau County District Attorney, Denis Dillon, called upon the County Legislature today to order the installation of video cameras throughout the county jail in East Meadow, where the authorities say an inmate was beaten to death earlier this month by guards. Mr. Dillon advised requiring Sheriff Joseph Jablonsky, who oversees the jail, to double the size of its four-person internal investigations unit, calling it ”clearly inadequate to effectively investigate an institution as large” as the 2,200-bed Nassau Correctional Center. He also recommended that transfers of inmates to disciplinary cells be recorded using hand-held video cameras.
    By DAVID M. HALBFINGER
    Jan. 29, 1999

    D.   Videotaping
         75.   NCCC shall maintain sufficient hand-held video equipment to record all planned uses of force and sufficient equipment for investigators and supervisors to view such videotapes. The Deputy Undersheriff of Operations shall be responsible for ensuring that videotape equipment is properly maintained. NCCC shall develop and implement policies and procedures for recording all planned uses of force to the extent practicable; for training personnel assigned to film uses of force in the use and maintenance of such equipment; for disciplining staff who fail to videotape incidents as required; for disciplining staff who tamper with the videotape machines or tapes; and for reviewing regularly the tapes. NCCC shall maintain the used tapes for three years to ensure that evidence is not destroyed or lost. No tapes containing relevant evidence shall be destroyed during the pendency of any civil, criminal, or administrative investigation, prosecution, or litigation.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here