North Hempstead Town Board debates appointing former highway superintendent who resigned over ethics investigation
The North Hempstead Town Board spent Thursday night debating the controversial appointment of a highway superintendent.
Thomas Tiernan had previously held the same job for years, but resigned in 2016 over an ethics investigation.
The Democrats are in favor of rehiring Tiernan while the Republican, including the town's new supervisor Jennifer DeSena, are against it.
"It's pretty widely known that he was forced to resign," DeSena says. "And it's just not a chapter that I would like to return to."
Tiernan resigned as North Hempstead's highway superintendent following a town investigation into his overtime earnings.
Tiernan made more than $100,000 in overtime over five years, which DeSena says is unusual for that position.
He also was accused of verbally abusing town contractors.
Republicans say no other candidates were even considered and the job should be posted.
Democrats say Tiernan is qualified for the job and the highway department needs his leadership immediately.
"In Mr. Tiernan's last year as highway superintendent, 942 potholes were filled," says North Hempstead Councilman Robert Troiano. "Last year, 2021, under new leadership, that went down to 445, less than 50% of those accomplished during Mr. Tiernan's last year."
A decision was not reached Thursday, and it will be voted on again at a future board meeting.