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 Town Supervisor Ed Romaine,  dumped over two feet of snow in several parts of town while the town highway department struggled to keep up, is scheduled to return from vacation Wednesday and hold a news conference on Thursday while acting highway department head Michael Murhpy plans to resign, according to Newsday.

Murphy – filling ths 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 absense, 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 absense 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.

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

nawthfawk February 13, 2013 at 04:13 PM
Losquadro- we should have had a 2nd Amendment management plan in place before reelecting you.
Rebecca Cramer February 14, 2013 at 12:16 PM
John Cappella is a great person and dedicated town employee- and Miller Place resident! Show them how its done Mr. Cappella!
Angela McCarthy February 15, 2013 at 03:07 AM
You are very right Ms. Cramer. John Cappella is not only a dedicated town employee of almost 30 years, who's experience has given him the managerial skills and great leadership qualities to fulfill this position, but imagine this, he is also a trustworthy, upstanding citizen, an honest human being and a loving husband and father! Go Cap!
Peter Shapiro February 20, 2013 at 02:40 AM
How come no one ever runs againist these people and have open discussions what they want to accomplish ....why is it always a big secret


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