SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Two elected officials on Long Island are temporarily out of a job and some suspect politics is at play.
As WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported, Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio is out of office after 35 years due to an oversight.
Vecchio did not sign an oath within the required 30 days after being sworn in.
Town Clerk Vincent Puleo has declared Vecchio’s seat vacant, along with another town board member who failed to sign the oath.
The two will need to be reappointed to their posts at a special meeting set for Thursday.
“I feel so bad that this happened, but you have to understand, I can’t say, ‘Well, Supervisor, just sign this, and I’ll put the 30th,’” Puleo told CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff. “I can’t do that. I’d be derelict in my duties.”
Puleo said he was surprised that after decades in office, Vecchio, an octogenarian, didn’t know the ropes.
Vecchio calls it upsetting, saying it all could have been avoided if the town clerk had just reminded him of the oath signing.
“The clerk and I work in the same building. A phone call, a memo, even a visit by a deputy clerk to bring the paper to be signed and all of this could have been avoided. So we have a crisis that, in effect, was manmade,” Vecchio told Xirinachs. “I can’t explain his motive.”
Politics is suspected, since the town clerk was a supporter of Vecchio’s opponent.
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