Joseph Cirigliano was appointed deputy director of Huntington’s public safety department Tuesday night.
He will lead the office after Public Safety Director Peter Sammis resigned Monday over a vulgar email he wrote about female town employee.
Cirigliano was first named deputy director in October, coming to the town job after years with the Secret Service. But funding for the position was part of a resolution covering several positions that was rejected by the Town Board in January.
Meantime, State Sen. Jim Gaughran, D-Northport, announced legislation that would strengthen reporting requirements for sexual harassment complaints and violations of the Human Rights Law. His bill, S.7687, is in response to complaints from two Huntington Town Board members who said they should have been involved in handling the email matter. The email in question was sent at the end of November; Sammis was suspended for two weeks starting at the end of January and then resigned. The town administration said it had followed procedures once it was alerted by computer software designed to catch inappropriate language.
The bill would require “immediate notification to the full governing board of violations of the municipal sexual harassment policy or allegations of violations of the human rights law which result in disciplinary action. This bill will ensure local governing bodies are fully informed of founded allegations to enable them to address allegations properly and immediately.”
Gaughran said, “I am outraged that after last year’s historic advancements to address the pervasive culture of sexual harassment in our society, the Town of Huntington failed to handle this situation with the immediacy and seriousness it demands.”
Cirigliano’s salary was set at $120,000. The Town Board vote to appoint him was 3-1-1, with Mark Cuthbertson voting against, and Joan Cergol abstaining.