Power struggle in Nassau Legislature ends with majority rule

Judy Jacobs (unaffiliated-Woodbury) is back in control of the Nassau Legislature after a six-week power struggle left the post of presiding officer up for grabs.

Jacobs, the previous presiding officer and a former Democrat, was re-elected Friday after two dissident legislators changed their vote to allow majority Democrats to retain control. Roger Corbin (D-Westbury) and Lisanne Altmann (D-Great Neck) had previously made a deal with minority Republicans and voted against party lines in an effort to oust Jacobs and elect Corbin as presiding officer. Democrats responded by ousting Jacobs from the party so she could make a run at minority leader if necessary.

Republicans initially declared victory after a vote January 25 appeared to elect current Minority Leader Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa) as presiding officer. However, a judge ruled that the nine votes Schmitt received did not represent a clear majority of the 19-member legislature. The judge ordered the group to re-vote until a clear majority of 10 votes was reached. Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead) received eight votes in that election and Corbin two.

Corbin and Altmann say their faith in the party has been restored and they hope for changes in the way Democrats rule. Jacobs says that county business will finally resume and that the Legislature will make up all meetings missed so far this year. Related Stories: Democrat Corbin makes power move in Nassau Legislature battle Nassau Legislature must hold re-vote on presiding officer Power struggle continues in Nassau Legislature as reps vote on officials Judge rules in favor of Democrats in Nassau political power struggle Nassau leadership battle put on hold until next week Long Island Democrats vote out highest-ranking official Last-minute twist in power play for presiding officer in Nassau Legislature Power play could knock Nassau County presiding officer out of her post

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