Incoming town supervisor blasts predecessor's 'reign of terror'

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HEMPSTEAD -

The incoming Hempstead town supervisor is calling on the current supervisor to resign immediately, weeks before his term officially ends in January, on the eve of a town board vote concerning a series of personnel changes.

Hempstead Town Supervisor-elect Laura Gillen didn't hold back in a news conference Monday about outgoing Supervisor Anthony Santino.

"I will not rest until Tony Santino's thievery and reign of terror sits with him on the ash heap of history," Gillen said. "Tony Santino is betraying his solemn oath to serve and protect the residents of Hempstead, and therefore I call on him to immediately step aside and resign as the supervisor of the Town of Hempstead."

It comes ahead of a town board meeting Tuesday, where members are expected to vote on a request to transfer, promote and appoint a total of 192 town employees. Gillen claims it's an effort to protect Santino loyalists.

The board could also vote on an amendment to a collective bargaining agreement that could keep the new administration from laying off union employees. Gillen says the move could waste millions in taxpayer money and keep her from making significant budget changes.

News 12 contacted Santino's office for comment, but the requests have gone unanswered.

Asked for reaction on the issue, multiple residents in the Town of Hempstead all told News 12 that the town’s taxpayers need to be put first.

News 12 asked Gillen if her team could plan any legal action if the board votes to approve the personnel changes, and she says they are exploring their options.

The town board is scheduled to meet Tuesday morning.

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