On the steps of the Town of Hempstead town hall building on Feb. 7, Thomas Tweedy, 62, a former Republican mayor of Floral Park, announced that he would be seeking nomination on the Democratic line to run as councilman of the town board’s second district.
Ed Ambrosino, the sitting Republican councilman, is facing federal charges of wire fraud and tax evasion. He is in his final term.
“I hope the parting clouds and the warming sun will nurture something unseen in town government for generations . . . honest leadership and proven accomplishments,” Tweedy said.
Tweedy said he decided to run on the Democratic ticket after the town board and former Republican supervisor approved 192 transfers and promotions, as well as a controversial labor contract addendum, last year, which he said will “punch a huge hole in future budgets.”
Tweedy, who was mayor of the Floral Park Village Board from 2011 to 2017 and a trustee for nine years before, said that he is impressed by Democratic Town Supervisor Laura Gillen’s work in Hempstead, despite opposition from the Republican-majority board. “[She] has shown dignity and perseverance against a majority that seeks not dialogue and consensus, but rather government by intimidation and delay,” he said.
Gillen said that she admires Tweedy for “bucking his own party” in his run for the seat.
“The 2nd District deserves to be served by someone with honor and integrity, and not afraid to challenge status quo,” she said.
The Nassau County Democratic Committee had not yet announced their pick to run by press time on Feb. 11.
Mike Deery, a spokesman for the Nassau County Republican Committee, said that they would not support Ambrosino should he choose to seek nomination.
He added that the party is “disappointed and shocked” to learn that Tweedy is seeking the Democratic nomination and aligning with “the tax-hiking Gillen/Curran team.”
Ambrosino was arrested on March 31, 2017, and charged with eight counts of wire fraud, tax evasion, making and subscribing to false corporate tax returns, and failing to file a return or pay tax, according to a federal indictment.
If convicted, Ambrosino faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the wire fraud charge, five years for each charge of tax evasion, three years for each charge of making and subscribing to false corporate tax returns, and one year for failing to file a tax return.
Ambrosino initially pleaded not guilty to all charges. According to recent filings, however, he was expected in court on March 19 for either a status conference or a guilty plea. His previously scheduled trial was adjourned without a date.
Ambrosino did not respond to a request for comment on this story by press time.