Nassau lawmakers vote to boost oversight of county real estate deals

The Nassau County Legislature voted Monday to involve occupants of historic county-owned qualities to disclose their political contributions, boosting oversight to county authentic estate offers.

The 19- vote additional regulation to the approach for awarding what quantities to be a plum perk for those people who are living or perform in secluded, county-owned mansions found mainly on Nassau’s North Shore.

The vast majority Republican legislators sought new disclosure guidelines right after analyzing Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s campaign filings as a result of Jan. 11.

Republican lawmakers stated they ended up upset that Karli Hagedorn, chairwoman of the Sands Point Preserve Conservancy, experienced donated $twenty,000 to Curran’s campaign on Jan. 11.

That was the identical working day the county legislature accepted a distinctive use and occupancy allow for her and her partner, James Hagedorn, for the Mille Fleurs mansion in Sands Point at a rent of $nine,000 a month.

County disclosure guidelines, handed in 2016, involve the authentic estate corporation that manages Nassau’s historic qualities — Smith & DeGroat of Mineola — to disclose its campaign donations. But the need does not apply to the allow holders by themselves.

Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park) stated the bill closes a “loophole” in the disclosure guidelines.

“The notion however is to make guaranteed that every little thing the county is carrying out is completely over board and over and above reproach,” Nicolello stated.

Mike Fricchione, a spokesman for Curran, stated the county government backed the bill and was “pleased” the legislature provided her amendment to exempt veterans and members of the navy who are living in govt-backed housing from the campaign reporting need.

Republicans held a news meeting Monday asking Curran to return the Hagedorn campaign donation.

But in an job interview with Newsday Monday, James Hagedorn criticized Republicans for attempting to politicize the concern.

Hagedorn stated his wife’s donation experienced very little to do with the legislative vote, which also took area Jan. 11.

“There is zero romance involving the hearings and any contributions. The contributions are very seriously separate,” he stated.

Hagedorn stated the timing of the contribution was coincidental, and that he tends “to give on the past working day of the reporting period of time in general.”

The contribution cutoff for the January 2021 periodic filing calendar was Jan. 11, according to the state board of elections.

Fricchione did not reply straight when asked whether or not Curran would return the $twenty,000 donation from Karli Hagedorn.

“The county government does not play any purpose in deciding on allow holders and finds it regrettable that Republican Legislators are focused on actively playing politics alternatively of finding our residents vaccinated and firms back again to usual,” Fricchione stated.

The Hagedorns have stated they have been doing work to provide Mille Fleurs, after owned by Florence Guggenheim, into the conservancy’s portfolio so it could be opened to the public.

“The only motive that Karli and I rented this and used some cash, was to get it off the marketplace,” so the conservancy could devise a organization plan to open up it to the public for functions.

The pair, who are living in Vermont, do not plan to are living at Mille Fleurs, James Hagedorn stated.

James Hagedorn is chief government and president of Scott’s-Micracle Gro, the Maysville, Ohio, company of lawn fertilizer and back garden items.

His father, Horace, started the Wonder-Gro Co. in Port Washington, which merged with Scotts in 1995.

The Hagedorns have contributed a total of $200,000 to Curran’s campaign since 2017, according to state campaign finance documents examined by Newsday.

They also contributed to former County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican.

Hagedorn termed himself “a really unapologetic Republican.”

He stated his spouse supported Curran, a Democrat, in 2017, but he backed her GOP opponent, former State Sen. Jack Martins of Aged Westbury.

“If someone would have stated disclose your donations, we would have happily carried out so,” Hagedorn stated. If Republicans “ended up so concerned about it, why did not they just Google it?”

He continued: “We have been generous to the two parties … You never know sort of when it is likely to occur in useful.”