The Town Board voted Tuesday to promote Cindy Mangano to town attorney but not before an extended argument over procedures and the law.
Mangano succeeds John Leo, who was elected to a judgeship in November.
Councilwoman Susan Berland prevailed, 3-2, winning the votes of Mark Mayoka and Gene Cook. The resolution passed after Town Supervisor Frank Petrone and Councilman Mark Cuthbertson attempted to amend her resolution to allow for the consideration of other candidates. Berland offered two resolutions, the first to name a town attorney and two deputies, which led acting town attorney Thelma Neira and Berland to dispute Huntington's legal standing to name two assistants.
That dispute led to considerable back and forth among all members of the Town Board, with Petrone attempting to amend Berland's resolution and add his own. Petrone and others mentioned other candidates, such as David Reilly of Northport and Robert Lifson, as potential candidates. When Petrone's attempt failed, Berland put forth the second resolution limited to just the town attorney's position and that passed, 3-2.
Before joining the Huntington office, Mangano was an assistant district attorney, deputy chief of the trial division, in the district attorney's office in the Bronx. She had several duties there, including prosecution of persistent felons in both the homicide and the major offense bureau. She also training junior assistant district attorneys and screened and interviewed candidates for the office.
Mangano, a Democrat, was sworn in to her new job shortly after the Town Board meeting ended. The Melville resident was accompanied by her twin 18-year-old daughters, Jessica and Halley. She is married to John Mangano, brother to Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.