Newsday Apr. 11 – Officials: Storm emergency justified $6M tree removal payment

“Minority counsel Peter Clines said County Executive Edward Mangano should have come in person to the legislature’s Rules Committee meeting on Sept. 12, 2011, to get approval for having hired Looks Great on Aug. 26 for emergency tree pruning and removal. Instead, a public works deputy commissioner presented the agreement to the committee on Dec. 5 without mentioning the firm had been paid four days earlier.

“It’s an extraordinary power to expend monies without legislative approvals,” Clines said. “There’s no checks and balances.”

Generally, the charter calls for the Rules Committee to approve contracts of more than $25,000. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recently criticized Nassau for allowing contractors to start work before their contracts were approved”

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