.

UPDATE: 27-Year Employee to Replace Highway Department Head

Supervisor Ed Romaine will hold a press conference on Thursday, according to Newsday.

Update, 2:30 p.m.: Brookhaven Deputy Supervisor Dan Panico said he expects to receive the resignation of acting Highway Supervisor Michael Murphy on Wednesday. 

“[Murphy] initially reported that he had a toothache, which I found to be the height of ridiculousness. On News12, he stated he was ‘out of town’ for a family emergency,” Panico said. “It’s a moot point now.” 

John Capella, current deputy highway superintendent, will replace Murphy. Capella has 27 years experience serving in Brookhaven’s Highway Department.

Murphy will keep his job with the Town for now, as civil service laws outline strict procedures for personnel matters, according to the deputy supervisor. 

Panico said he trusts Capella to work with three other department heads to coordinate a response to the snow forecasted for Wednesday evening into Thursday: Ed Morris, Parks Commissioner; Matt Minor, Commissioner of Waste Management; and Anthony Gallino, Public Safety Commissioner.

Brookhaven will deploy Town crews with an additional 130 pieces of state-owned equipment to deal with the upcoming snowfall. 

“We brought in the necessary resources to clean up this time and had adequate preparations been made, we could have certainly shaved time off in cleaning up the roadways during the previous storm,” Panico said.

Any residents still having trouble getting out of their homes should contact the Town’s highway department at 631-451-9200.

Update written by Sara Walsh.

Original story: Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine is scheduled to return home Wednesday from his vacation that was taken while a blizzard dumped upwards of three feet of snow across parts of the Town.

The news of his return comes the same day that acting highway department head Michael Murphy announced plans to resign, according to Newsday.

Murphy – filling the shoes of former Highway Superintendent John Rouse who resigned to run for Suffolk County Judge – was out on medical leave from Friday through Monday, according to the report. In his absence, residents complained of being snowed in more than three days after the storm hit Friday night.

While Deputy Supervisor Dan Panico told Newsday Murphy plans on resigning, town spokesman Jack Krieger said Wednesday morning he had yet to see a formal letter of resignation.

Pointing to the absence of both officials, Councilwoman Kathleen Walsh – who is running in a special election for the highway department position – noted on Tuesday that among an absence of leadership getting information out to residents was hard to come by.

  • Read: Highway Supe Candidates Reflect Following Blizzard

Her opponent, Dan Losquadro, stated that if the town highway department had an emergency management plan in place – something he said he would create if elected – snow removal would have been much smoother.

Click here to read the Newsday article (subscription required).

Mels Ditties February 13, 2013 at 02:50 PM
WOW!..What a surprize that Murphy is to resign....Romaine should do the same!!! "Councilwoman Kathleen Walsh – who is running in a special election for the highway department position – noted on Tuesday that among an absence of leadership getting information out to residents was hard to come by." The problem wasn't getting information to the residents..the problem was getting PLOWS out to residents!!!... "Her opponent, Dan Losquadro, stated that if the town highway department had an emergency management plan in place – something he said he would create if elected – snow removal would have been much smoother." How a township of this size could even THINK about operating without emergency plans is totally unacceptable...This SHOULD have been a no-brainer..."Implement Plan Blizzard Clean Up" should have been the action...HOW could you possibly run a town expecting to first start picking up the phones and trying to arrange for trucks/plows AFTER the storm hits?....Unbelievable!!!... Makes ya wonder what else they don't have backed up with a plan!....
Mary Rogers February 13, 2013 at 02:51 PM
Is Michael Murphy going to get another job with the town after he steps down?
John February 13, 2013 at 02:56 PM
I need to know what resources a Town Supervisor or Highway Superintendent would need at his/her disposal that they couldn't do their job remotely? I assume an internet connection and telephone would have allowed them to do at least 50% of their jobs from virtually anywhere in the civilized world. They would, however, be unable to hold one of those press conferences where they had mediocre answers to even the simplest questions.
Peggy McMahon February 13, 2013 at 03:26 PM
Murphy isn't the only one who should step down! Not only did they put our lives at risk but our kids could not go to school for two days because of their incompetence!
Earl February 13, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Murphy wasnt going to be in that position much longer anyway, so him resigning is a drop in the bucket. Romaine is the top dog for the county, he needs to go pronto!
Earl February 13, 2013 at 05:30 PM
Oops, town, not county!
Norma Roselle February 13, 2013 at 07:35 PM
You had a very capable, experienced person , Lori Baldassare who work Highway for 8 years. Because of politics she was fired. This would not have happened if you left her do the job she knows. Politics stinks! Norma
Earl February 13, 2013 at 07:40 PM
How great we get to keep paying Murphys salary! What a joke!
Norma Roselle February 13, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Would like to know Kathy Walsh's background. What College did she go to?
Norma Roselle February 13, 2013 at 07:48 PM
Someone tell me qualification of Kathy Walsh. What's her background to put her in this position????
Mels Ditties February 13, 2013 at 11:21 PM
"Murphy will keep his job with the Town for now, as civil service laws outline strict procedures for personnel matters, according to the deputy supervisor. " So let me get this straight, MY tax dollars will continue to pay the salary for this incompetent?....Hey, where to I apply for a job like that???
Mels Ditties February 13, 2013 at 11:24 PM
Having known/worked with Lori for over 10 years, I KNOW it NEVER would have gotten this bad if she were running the show during this blizzard....Like you said Norma, for the sake of politics they sacked the most experienced person who could have gotten the job done!...
Stuck in Stony Brook February 13, 2013 at 11:49 PM
The town has an emergency management plan. You would think that as a candidate for town office Dan Losquadro would know that. Unfortunately, Romaine laid off the town's emergency management coordinator in December.
Norma Roselle February 15, 2013 at 01:05 PM
Today's Newspaper is a laugh reading the excuses of Romaine. This is so political as it mentions he wants Highway under his control so thent they can give out contracts for paving roads, snow plow contracts, etc. These are all patronage jobs and here we go back to what we had before Crookhaven. The blame game! If good people are in positions and qualified no politics should be involved, you are there to serve the people who voted you in -- and we can vote you out.

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