Islip town supervisor Tom Croci was recalled to active duty with the Navy. He will temporarily leave his post as supervisor in mid-July for a tour that is expected to last about one year, although the length of his tour is not known for sure.
Environmental Control Commissioner Eric Hofmeister is expected to be appointed as deputy supervisor while Croci is away. He will be replacing the current deputy supervisor Linda Angello, who is busy with other duties. Hofmeister may be sworn in as early as Monday, and will sit in on town board meetings but will not be able to vote.
Croci, who is a Republican, will not be paid while he is on tour, and Hofmeister will be paid for his duties as deputy supervisor.
Croci is from Bohemia and graduated from Connetquot High School in 1990. He attended New York Law School.
The 40-year-old began his military career in 1999 at the Navy Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Fla. He has had a highly-decorated military career, serving eight years of active duty and two tours in Afghanistan. He also worked in the White House situation room under President Bush.
Croci was appointed by President Bush to the Homeland Security Council in 2007 as deputy executive secretary. He stayed on until shortly after President Obama was inaugurated, at which point he was deployed as an intelligence officer with a Navy SEAL team in Afghanistan.
He was elected to the Islip town board in November 2011. In January, Croci was caught in the middle of an attempted political coup, during which time Councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt and others attempted to take Croci’s power away from him.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone commended Croci’s service to the military. "We're a region that really cares about and respects service to our country, and that includes people who are serving as elected officials,” he said in a report from Newsday.
This is not the first time that a Long Island town has seen a council member leave for military service. Just last year, Babylon Town Councilwoman Jackie Gordon was deployed to serve in Afghanistan with the Army Reserves. She returned to Copiague in November.