Suffolk, Nassau executives receive 'F' in transparency audit

The Long Island Press Club has given an overall "C" letter grade to municipalities and governmental agencies when it comes to complying with Freedom of

Among those receiving failing grades were the offices of the two highest ranking officials on the Island: Nassau Executive Ed Mangano and Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone.

Among those receiving failing grades were the offices of the two highest ranking officials on the Island: Nassau Executive Ed Mangano and Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone. (3/16/17)

OYSTER BAY - The Long Island Press Club has given an overall "C" letter grade to municipalities and governmental agencies when it comes to complying with Freedom of Information Law requests.

Among those receiving failing grades were the offices of the two highest ranking officials on the Island: Nassau Executive Ed Mangano and Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone.

Timothy Bolger, the Press Club of Long Island's Freedom of Information chairman, says the law is in place to ensure the transparency that many officials claim to champion.

"I'm not sure if it's a willful policy of trying to stifle FOIL requests, or if it's just incompetence, or if they just don't care," says Bolger.

A spokesperson for Suffolk Executive Bellone says the office is now in the process of developing best practices to deal with FOIL requests. An attorney for Nassau County disputes the findings of the report, saying it is "riddled with inaccuracies."

The report also found that municipalities like the towns of Huntington, Southold, Southampton and Riverhead all earned A+ ratings for FOIL compliance.

The Town of Oyster Bay received a B letter grade, though Massapequa resident Robert Ripp disagrees with that assessment. He say he has submitted more than 200 FOIL requests to the town over the past few years with little success.

"They want to hide information that they don't want the public to know about," Ripp told News 12.

Oyster Bay Supervisor Joe Saladino says he was "very proud" of his town's rating.

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