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Bellone signs bill to clarify term limits in Suffolk County

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone
Office of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signs a new law that clarifies term limits for county legislators, the county executive and the county comptroller.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signed a bill that hopes to clarify the county’s term limit law. The bill adds a referendum to change the county charter this November. If approved by voters, it would limit elected officials from serving more than 12 years in the same job. Right now, the charter only limits 12 consecutive years.

The county legislature voted unanimously to approve the measure which arose after former lawmaker Kate Browning sought to rerun for her old job in the legislature after she was term-limited in 2017.

Bellone said the bill will prevent corruption.

“They want to limit the time that someone can serve," Bellone said. "Our experience here in Suffolk County, is that that is absolutely a good thing.”

Bellone named former County District Attorney Tom Spota as an example of such corruption.

Spota sued to run for a fourth term in 2012. He was later convicted on various corruption charges and is currently serving five years in federal prison.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.