MINEOLA - (AP) - Nassau County officials filed a lawsuitlate today challenging the legality of a state watchdog's vote totake control of county finances.

Nassau County Attorney John Ciampoli tells TheAssociated Press the suit was filed in state Supreme Court inMineola. It questions whether the Nassau Interim Finance Authoritywas within its purview last week when it voted to take control ofthe county's finances.

The authority cited a gap of $176 million in Nassau's $2.6billion 2011 budget. It has given the county until Feb. 15 torevise its numbers.

Ed Mangano, the first-term county executive, insists thereis no looming deficit. Other county officials contend thewatchdog's actions are politically motivated. Authority chairmanRonald Stack denies that.