Levy defends himself on eve of report detailing County’s fiscal woes

JOHN GRIFFIN FILE PHOTO | Steve Levy went on the offensive Monday night, one day before a Suffolk County task force is expected to announce its findings regarding county finances.

Fifteen hours before a task force formed by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is expected to announce its findings regarding county finances, his predecessor had the first word.

Former County Executive Steve Levy released a six-page memo titled “The Real Story Behind the 2012 Suffolk County Budget” to members of the media Monday evening.

In the report he compares Suffolk to other New York Counties, while defending his own record as County Executive. He says in the memo that the County’s credit rating was only downgraded after the Suffolk County Legislature made amendments to his 2012 budget.

“It was only AFTER the legislature radically changed the executive budget in November that the agencies downgraded the rating in December,” Mr. Levy wrote. “They were especially critical of the legislature having raided the tax stabilization fund as a one-shot revenue, and having restored the nursing home and hundreds of employees without properly paying for the them. IT WAS THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY THAT THE SUFFOLK LEGISLATURE ADOPTED A SIX-MONTH, RATHER THAN A FULL YEAR, BUDGET.”

Presiding Officer Bill Lindsay said in a press release that he’s looking forward to Tuesday’s 10 a.m. presentation, which will be made before the Legislature’s Budget and Finance Committee.

“We know the news is going to be bad, but we finally have a County Executive who is willing to work with the County Legislature to solve Suffolk’s extraordinary financial problems,” Mr. Lindsay said.

The Riverhead News-Review will report live from the announcement, so be sure to check back at 10 a.m.

Read Mr. Levy’s complete memorandum below:

Memorandum Suffolk Budget 2012