The North Hempstead Town Board passed two resolutions Tuesday night that call for the resignation and expulsion of U.S. Rep. George Santos and also amended a section of town code to require a report be made from the “complete and thorough” review Republican Supervisor Jennifer DeSena made when evaluating the building department last year.
The resolution calling for Santos to resign, submitted by DeSena, was approved unanimously by the seven-member board while the one calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to expel him, submitted by Democrat Councilmember Veronica Lurvey, passed with a 6-1 vote.
Republican Councilmember David Adhami said he agreed with the general intent of the resolution but disagreed with its verbiage before voting no, saying there’s information included just to trigger people and it was poorly written.
DeSena motioned to amend the resolution to remove any mention of her name, saying doing so makes it a political and personal attack, which was voted down 4-3 along party lines.
“This is a resolution we are asking Congress to take action, why include my name in it?” DeSena questioned. “That makes it clear this is just a political and personal attack.”
The resolution, read in its entirety by Lurvey, goes through the timeline of Santos’ recent controversies since running for and being elected to public office while including the facts that DeSena endorsed him, calling him a “true friend and leader,” and calling for his resignation in January of this year alongside other local Republican officials.
The four other Democratic councilmembers, Robert Troiano, Peter Zuckerman, Lurvey and Mariann Dalimonte, are also mentioned in the resolution when they called for Santos’ resignation in December.
Troiano said he understands DeSena’s concerns that she no longer wants to be associated with Santos but believes since she is mentioned in both supporting and calling for his resignation, they balance each other out.
Republican Councilmember Dennis Walsh said the wording of the resolution was political in nature and that the majority councilmembers, who voted to suspend the rules and move the resolution up in the agenda so the public in attendance can comment, were “hijacking” the meeting.
DeSena said in a statement she was appalled by her colleagues’ actions and that she intended to combine her and Lurvey’s resolutions to present a unified front.
“It’s truly shocking that when given the opportunity to show a united front on behalf of our nearly 240,000 residents, they have immediately resorted to political attacks by inexplicably including my name in their resolution,” DeSena said Tuesday night. “It’s truly disconcerting that the majority continue to play these political games instead of working together as we fight this ongoing battle to remove this conman from office.”
The Democrats also demanded that DeSena justify her demand for an audit by Nassau County Comptroller Elaine Philips
During a July 11 news conference last year, DeSena asked Philips to audit the town’s Building Department, which is currently ongoing.
DeSena said a “complete and thorough review” was conducted during the first six months of her administration last year ahead of calling for the audit, but reiterated her previous position Tuesday night that one in the form of a report does not exist.
“I did not create a report. A review includes conversations with department heads, hearing from constituents or speaking with experts,” DeSena said.
Lurvey, who asked for the details and documents associated with the review to be made available for the town board in July, said the resolution is to help see what issues she found.
“The reason for this is so we can know what problems did she identify and what issues need to be solved?” Lurvey questioned. “What problems do we need to assess as a board.”
DeSena, who voted against the resolution to provide a report, said she will comply but that doing so will tie up her staff.
In unrelated town board news, Dalimonte was presented with a proclamation from North Hempstead and the town board recognizing her efforts in helping manage a dangerous situation when a car traveling northbound on North Plandome Road crashed into a tree outside her house on Saturday, Jan. 21.
Dalimonte said once she heard the crash she ran outside in her pajamas, requested a nearby resident call 911 while helping direct traffic with others.
“He hit a tree and from the tree, he bounced off and hit a telephone pole,” Dalimonte said. “The airbags were all deployed and what I was scared of was the gasoline that was spilled onto the road.”
Dalimonte said she grabbed a fire extinguisher to put out the fire and assisted in getting the driver out safely.
The next North Hempstead Town Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 14.