Nassau County Sues Over Fiscal Watchdog NIFA’s Takeover

MINEOLA, NY (WCBS 880/1010 WINS/AP) – A New York lawmaker plans hearings over what he says could be possible ethics conflicts involving a state-appointed fiscal watchdog that has taken over Nassau County finances.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reports

nifa schmitt Nassau County Sues Over Fiscal Watchdog NIFAs Takeover

Nassau Legislative Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt announces hearings will be held into NIFA takeover of county finances (Photo/Mona Rivera)

Peter Schmitt, the presiding officer of the county legislature, also said Monday he supported legal action to overturn the decision by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority.

Mona Rivera of 1010 WINS reported early Monday evening that Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano’s office has filed a lawsuit against NIFA.

The authority last week cited a gap of $176 million in Nassau’s $2.6 billion 2011 budget in taking control of the county’s finances. It has given the county until Feb. 15 to revise its numbers.

But Schmitt and Mangano insist there is no looming deficit. Schmitt contends the watchdog’s actions are politically motivated. Authority chairman Ronald Stack denies that.

“The public has a right to known exactly who the heck these people are, and where they’re coming from, and what the intersts are,” Schmitt said.

Mangano also released a statement Monday saying NIFA’s action was “unfounded, unfair and wrong.”

The county executive said that is why he has taken the “necessary legal steps to protect taxpayers” by filing the lawsuit.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera with Peter Schmitt who accuses NIFA of a politically motivated coup

NIFA released a statement Monday afternoon saying it was “disappointed” that Schmitt “chose to make unfounded attacks on the integrity of all six NIFA Directors.”

“The NIFA Directors will not be distracted or intimidated from performing their statutory responsibilities on behalf of Nassau County and New York State,” the statement said.

Mangano accuses the NIFA and the media of playing politics with county finances. He says they’re exaggerating the county’s finance problems for political purposes.

“This is just a game to have us boxed in to raising real property taxes, a political game so they can say ‘Ed Mangano and the Tea Party came to office with reform and were unable to accomplish it’,” Mangano told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs.

No hearing date has been set.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


More from Mike Xirinachs
  • lotsoflaughs

    Funny stuff at

  • Jerry

    This is a smokescreen lawsuit by Mangano to save face.He was either unwilling or unable to tackle the unions here. Hopefully NIFA can use the necessay common sense to force contract reform to the point of affordability!
    All muni workers must share in this wholeheartedly and equally!
    Of course starting with the outrageous pensions and perks of police and teachers

    • Christine

      Alleluia , Jerry

  • EWagner635

    Where’s the county going to get the money from to pay the lawyers????

  • TJ

    Do you want to talk about education??? Lets talk about the level of education (or lack of) in these two replies below. It is good to see that you do have an opinion and I do believe that there should be more than a flurry of replies here, but, for crying out loud please check your spelling and at least make a sentence where your point could be clearly understood. This is beyond sad, its EMBARRASSING!!!

  • VY

    Consolidate all the little towns and villages in the county into 3 or 4 decent sized townships.
    Get rid of all the tiny school disctricts with their duplicale cost of multiple administrations (over 50 school disctricts, each sucking up education dollars to support bloated administrations times the bloated number of districts).
    Consolidate into 3 or 4 school districts with the savings going into advances in education, such as smaller class sizes in the lower grades and specialty schools for the arts, scienses, etc. on the high school level.
    Either that or continue to dround in your own taxes, and watch your kids leave for other parts of this country when they do greaduate from school.

    • jesus cristos

      Not a bad idea. The real problem is that greed and avarice have taken over
      and no one has done a damn thing about it.
      The only ones that are going to make money here are the overpaid
      legal beagles who should have their salaries capped. They all drive
      fancy cars and get something like $500 an hour. We do not need lawyers
      and the laws they write which are totally non comprehensible.
      I have dealt with Nassau County lawyers and they should do their jobs
      at no fee- only if they win the case, should they get paid.
      Would you pay a mechanic who did not fix your car. Of course not.
      Also, make sure that the people in Rockville Center, Garden City and
      Manhasset are relieved of their inheritances and made to go to soup
      kitchen lines. They eat the big one.
      Happy Kwanza

  • e. skates

    what casue all of this action to take place. is thid comming from the Dem disde of the isle or is a polictical more to hide some infracrions of the previous admistration? I would really like the know the true reaeon for this take over of the county’s budget.

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