Gillen: Ex-employee negotiated new job into consulting deal

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The Town of Hempstead supervisor says a former town employee negotiated a new job for herself as part of a deal with an HR consulting firm.

Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen says her office has uncovered a scheme that cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Gillen says in March of 2017 Anna-Maria Hurtado, the town's commissioner of the Department of Occupational Resources, negotiated a deal with a human resources company called Alcott HR to provide consulting work. Gillen says Hurtado represented the town, but had a personal stake in the deal as well.

"She negotiated on behalf of the town, and as part of that agreement she was going to be leaving the town and going to work for the company that she was negotiating on behalf of the town with," says Gillen. "So she has a benefit on both sides of the table."

Gillen says Hurtado and two other former town employees, Edward Kenny and Scott Surkis, received six figure payouts upon their retirement from the town only to then work for Alcott HR and provide consultation to the town under the agreement negotiated by Hurtado.

Hurtado's husband responded to the allegations saying the supervisors allegations are "garbage" and that his wife did nothing to violate town code.

Gillen has called for the Nassau district attorney to open an investigation. A spokesperson for the DA tells News 12 that her office is indeed reviewing the allegations. The town board's majority leader Erin King Sweeney says she will support the DA's probe, but says the town should continue to investigate as well.

Gillen is also calling on the current commissioner of the Department of Occupational Resources to resign.

The town board is expected to consider Tuesday whether to extend the town's contract with Alcott HR.

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