Lawmakers call for removal of NIFA board

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MINEOLA -

Some Nassau lawmakers want to get rid of everyone sitting on a review board that oversees how the county spends taxpayer dollars.

In December, the fiscal watchdog Nassau Interim Finance Authority hired Gary Dellaverson to represent it during ongoing labor negotiations between the county and its employee unions. The move has proved unpopular with Republican county lawmakers.

"He gets $25,000 a month whether he works two hours, 20 hours or 200 hours," says Nassau Legislature Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello.

Dellaverson is a longtime labor attorney who once served as the chief financial officer of the MTA.

Last year, the county Legislature rejected a request by County Executive Laura Curran's administration to hire Dellaverson before NIFA did so. Nicolello accuses the Curran administration of colluding with NIFA to ensure Dellaverson was ultimately hired on the taxpayer's dime. He's received $125,000 from NIFA this year alone. Nicolello is now calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to remove the NIFA board.

NIFA declined to comment Monday, but its chairman explained in December that Dellaverson has "very unique experience" in labor matters in which Dellaverson would be included.

NIFA board member Chris Wright blasted the Legislature's GOP majority, saying: "Their views would be far more interesting if any of them had, even once, offered a meaningful budget or collective bargaining idea any time in the last decade."

Curran scoffed at the idea of collusion between her administration and NIFA.

"NIFA and the county working together is called cooperation," she said in a statement. "To suggest that NIFA's labor lawyer is unqualified is just laughable."

Curran also says the county is making progress in labor negotiations with all but one employee union.

News 12 did not hear from the governor's office for comment.

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