top of page

North Hempstead Dems "Forced Out" New Comptroller

By Rupert Deedes

The Town of North Hempstead's new "bipartisan" Comptroller, Kristen Schwaner resigned after only four months on the job - resigning on August 18th - without explanation.

The Leader has now learned why: Schwaner resigned after the Town's Democrats applied political pressure on her, to try to force her to hire a politically-connected Democratic vendor, which she refused to hire as a "waste of money."

For over 15 months - during 2022 and early 2023 - North Hempstead had no Comptroller. The nominees proposed by Supervisor Jennifer DeSena (R) were voted down by the Democrats on the Town Board - who held a narrow 4 to 3 majority on the Board.

Finally, in April, 2023, the Republicans and Democrats agreed to a "bipartisan" selection of a neutral financial expert. Kristen Schwaner, who had over 15 years' experience in finance and accounting. Schwaner had worked at the Hauppauge-based Sight Growth Partners as their Vice President of Finance, and at Ernst & Young. She was appointed unanimously by the Town Board.

But then the Town Democrats' patronage-hungry politics took over.

On June 21st, Adam Haber - a Democratic Party activist, former Democratic candidate, and lobbyist - brought-in a favored "investment firm" called NYCLASS - to try to take over management of the Town's money receipts and investments.

Haber and the Town's Democrats - principally Councilwoman Veronica Lurvey (D-Great Neck) - met repeatedly with Schwaner to try to pressure her to hire the their favored investment firm.

When Schwaner declined to hire the Democrats' investment firm, the tone got ugly: The Democrats and NYCLASS tried to by-pass the Comptroller entirely, and have the Town Board force the Comptroller to hire the investment firm.

This Democrat "power-move" was confirmed in a July 13th internal e-mail - which the Leader has obtained.

The Town Supervisor, Jennifer DeSena rejected the attempt to by-pass the Comptroller, and in a July 14th e-mail, DeSena explained, "It is my understanding Comptroller Schwaner recommended against entering into an agreement with NYCLASS - as the costs clearly outweighed the benefits."

At that point, Lurvey and the Town's Democrats apparently decided that Schwaner "had to go" - and began treating her with menace and hostility. Schwaner had always worked in the private sector, where the kind of petty political "freeze-outs" like that conducted by Lurvey and her colleagues would not be tolerated.

Schwaner confided in the Town's Counsel to the Supervisor, Charles McQuair - and several others - about the improper political patronage pressure she was under from the Democrats - and then resigned.


bottom of page