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Brookhaven Supervisor Lesko Resigns

Democrat leaving Town Hall to take position with Accelerate Long Island.

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko is stepping down to run the Accelerate Long Island project.

Richard Schaffer, chairman of the Suffolk Democratic Party, told Patch Wednesday afternoon that Lesko’s resignation will become official Sept. 14.

In a written statement released on Wednesday, Lesko said he joins Accelerate Long Island with the goal of implementing a strategy to create an innovation-based economy on Long Island.

“It is my hope that Accelerate Long Island will have a profound economic impact on the entire region for years to come,” he added.

Kathleen Walsh, deputy Town Supervisor and a Republican, said of Lesko, “Together, we worked in a bipartisan fashion to hold the line on property taxes and ensure that Town government is always doing the very best job it can for its residents. I wish Mark luck as the Executive Director of Accelerate Long Island, where I am confident he will be successful in creating the innovation-based economy and high-tech jobs we so desperately need on Long Island.”

Walsh will serve as acting Town supervisor until voters choose a new supervisor in November.

However, Jesse Garcia, chairman of the Brookhaven Republican Party, was less than flattering to the out-going supervisor, calling Lesko’s resignation, "nothing more than the ultimate act of cowardice by an accidental supervisor."

It was not clear at press time what Republican candidates would possibly run for the seat in November.

As for Democrats, Schaffer said he would be meeting with Marc Alessi, chair of the Brookhaven Democratic Party, to discuss possible candidates to run in this November’s election.

He mentioned several names including Brian Beedenbender, Lesko’s current chief of staff and a former county legislator, Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri and current Town Clerk Patricia Eddington as possible candidates.

Pontieri, when reached for comment, said. "I haven’t heard from Rich Schaffer (and) at this point there is no interest but if there’s a conversation to be had we’ll talk."

Regarding Lesko’s resignation, he added, “Mark Lesko is a bigger loss to the Town and will be really difficult to replace. He’s one of the few political figures who is not political. It’s a tremendous loss."

Lesko's decision comes as a surprise to many as he easily won re-election this past November to a second term,  Republican Cecile Forte.

Michael Sorrentino contributed to this story.

MP resident August 15, 2012 at 08:59 PM
I think the same, John.
Justin Time August 15, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Accelerate? Try reducing the school budget, cut the huge "educator's" salaries and benefits, reduce the number of teachers and watch Long Island "accelerate"
Fred August 15, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Something stinks here. Why would you run for an office, fully knowing the term and commitments, then quit on the people who elected you.
Madford Resident August 15, 2012 at 09:41 PM
He couldn't wait 2 months until his term expired? Huh?
Lisa August 15, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Ditto
XLindy August 15, 2012 at 10:01 PM
I wonder if the real reason he left us was for $$$greener pastures. If it is then don't let the door etc. etc.
Fred August 15, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Another Fred Kathleen Walsh's comments are just old politics, too kind and bipartisan. Jesse Garcia's mean-spirited, personal attacks are just the statements we should expect from today's reactionary Republican leaders. Of course, there is more to this story, but we should find reliable sources. Too much to ask for?
Greg Fischer August 15, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Is it just me or do they think everybody is stupid? Why would anyone go to work for/with somebody they should have prosecuted but did not? http://​patchogue.patch.com/​articles/​brookhaven-supervisor-lesko​-resigns Accelerate Long Island Board Members Samuel H. Aronson Michael J. Dowling Mark Fasciano Kevin S. Law Stuart Rabinowitz Stephen C. Savage Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D. Bruce Stillman Charles M. Strain Roger Savell Nancy Rauch-Douzinas
Lynette Murphy August 16, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Jumping ship with the economy the way it is not responsible. Why can't he work on an innovative new Long Island economy as Brookhaven Supervisor? Thanks for nothing.
Lisa R. Borger August 16, 2012 at 03:49 AM
Why didn't he just become a Republican like Levy?
Jamie August 16, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Think you hit the nail on the head
Had Enuf! August 16, 2012 at 06:12 AM
Y'all don't get it. Most politicians are in it to enrich themselves, not serve the people. If they can enrich themselves while in office, they keep running for reelection. If they see a better opportunity outside of serving the people, they take it, no matter what their commitment was. And y'all just blindly stand by your D or R and defend them. Open your eyes and see what these politicians are doing to us...they are not leaders, they are followers...they follow the money for their own benefit, not yours .
Justin Time August 16, 2012 at 11:33 AM
He probably needed more income in order to afford the high taxes on Long Island!
crankpaul August 16, 2012 at 11:45 AM
The procedure in politics is to step down prior to the end of your term while your cohort is appointed to your position. Then when the election comes around the "appointee" is an "incumbent". This is done on both sides quite frequently.
BZ August 16, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Cut the number of teachers??!!! What is wrong with you!!!! 26:1-28:1 student to teacher ratio isn't enough for you? You must not have children left in the local school districts. I can think of 20 different ways to cut the budget without hurting the workers of the education system.
Babaloo August 16, 2012 at 12:27 PM
You totally screwed the people who supported you, contributed to your cause and the workers who carried your petitions, made countless phone calls and went door to door on your behalf. They spent their time and energy because they believed you were the man for the job. In return you bailed out mid-term when something better came up. As a campaign worker I feel screwed (once again). Mark, go with sarah palin, make your millions and leave us alone.
Edbo August 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM
I am also disappointed that he is leaving before his term ends on December 31, 2013. He is a very intelligent man who knows his stuff and will be an asset to LI Alliance.
Justin Time August 16, 2012 at 01:20 PM
That' s why he left "he is a very intelligent man" silly.......
Archie Bunker August 16, 2012 at 01:30 PM
It is not done frequently. Most politicians do NOT quit their posts at the end of their terms in the fashion Lesko has done to advance the deputy. That's just silly. I think you have a much better argument stating when this type of thing happens, its because their is a cover up of wrong doings and they try to get out before it hits the fan
Joseph Adriano August 16, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Yes they think people are stupid. Look at the Hub project.
EG August 16, 2012 at 05:03 PM
The Three Village School District Teacher/Student ratio is about 13:1 Teaching positions need to be eliminated.
Paul Hart August 16, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Probably got tired of beating his head against the wall.
Babaloo August 16, 2012 at 11:28 PM
I suppose but I was always taught to finish what you start. He knew what he was getting into when he ran for office and jumped in with both feet. I liked the guy and worked on his campaign. That's why I feel betrayed. Sorry.
Justin Time August 17, 2012 at 09:14 AM
Politicians are noted for that...Betrayel. How do you think they get in to office!
lara buscatelli August 25, 2012 at 03:36 PM
How does an article about the supervisor resigning revert to teacher salaries? Cut your school budget and watch the value of your house shrink even further. Try to stay on topic.
lara buscatelli August 25, 2012 at 03:37 PM
His term would have expired on December, 2013.
lara buscatelli August 25, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Not for supervisor. They hold a special election.
annette kattau October 10, 2012 at 10:41 PM
I wished he left earlier, he totally raped Brookhaven town and its taxpayers, especially the people who live next to the landfill and the Yaphank BRT site. I am glad he is gone and it was not soon enough
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Hugo Benoit March 19, 2013 at 01:25 PM
You think he would have been on vacation in the Caribbean when he should been at his desk during a blizzard? WOW such political blindness!! This man has been so un-political in his tenure as Supervisor......Some people think that being your own person and not bowing to political pressure is a no-no in Brookhaven Town. Why automatically go for the jugular without educating yourselves to the facts????? Keep in mind that he is an Attorney and gave up a good position as a Federal Assistant Prosecutor to become Town Supervisor. He could be making much more money doing other things but he choses to thy to help the Town and Long Island improve. Seems like a foreign concept these days of me, myself and I doesn't it? Crookhaven wasn't that long ago was it?????? We never learn do we? By the way....................still waiting on the edge of my seat for the BIG story on the real reason for his resignation. hmmmmmmmm the silence is deafening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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