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.
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.
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.