Written by Annette Giarratani Friday, 23 October 2009 00:00
Like many of you, this week, I received two mailings from the New York State Democratic Committee. Both call Richard Nicolello’s appointment as counsel to the New Hyde Park Garden City Park School District “patronage.” As a registered Democrat, I am deeply saddened and greatly disappointed in such action. As a school board trustee I am offended and outraged.
During my tenure as trustee, Mr. Nicolello was appointed in 1987 based solely on his credentials as an attorney, not on his political affiliations. Just for the record, he was not elected to the Nassau Legislature until eight years later. Just for the record….there was no patronage.
The taxpayers of the New Hyde Park Garden City Park School District know how fortunate we are to have had Richard Nicolello as our attorney. I can assure you that he has always been extremely professional. His integrity and legal expertise have kept us out of harm’s way. As reported in the Democratic mailings, Mr. Nicolello’s salary was $200,000. What wasn’t mentioned is that this was over a period of 22 years which comes out to $9,091 a year. This was reported as “waste.” You do the math and see for yourself. You, too, will agree that this is definitely not a waste, rather a blessing to have had him on board.
When I saw these mailings I was so outraged and totally disgusted with this type of campaigning. I felt compelled and a sense of obligation to write this open letter to the members of my community. I have pride in my community and the utmost respect for the legal system as I know you have. Trust me when I say that Richard Nicolello shares these beliefs as you and I do. He has demonstrated it as our school board attorney.
Let’s not make this an issue of twisting things rather than reporting facts. Let’s not make innocent people victims of political mayhem.