New York governor made a vow on Tuesday to hire a new state director of Italian-American Affairs after her firing of the previous head of the said department was met with criticism from the Italian-American community.
Hochul spokesman Avi Small said before hiring the new chief of the department, the lady governor would also consult with Italian-American civic leaders.
“Governor Hochul has committed to finding the best possible team to lead the state forward, and we have been working to fill the role of Director of Italian American Affairs as part of our constituency team’s efforts to engage with New York’s diverse communities,” Small said.
“Governor Hochul was proud to march in the Columbus Day Parade and will continue to be a strong supporter of the Italian American community throughout her administration,” Small added.
Earlier, the Italian-American civil leaders slammed Hochul for firing Dolores Alfieri without proper consultation from the Italian-American community.
The Italian-American Civic leaders also said that they were blindsided when Hochul terminated Alfieri, who was appointed by her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, as the governor’s liaison to the Italian-American community in 2017.
The group also lamented that after firing Alfieri, Hochul did not even ask them for recommendations for her replacement.
“It’s an absolute insult to the Italian-American community. I’m insulted. I don’t want to be associated with Hochul right now,” Joseph Scelsa, president of the Italian- American Museum in Manhattan said.
To show their dismay to her decision, the state leaders of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America also sent a Nov. 7 letter of complaint to Hochul, saying they were not consulted about Alfieri’s ouster.
The group also asked if the move is her way of eliminating the liaison office to Italian-Americans.
“When you became governor of our state, we believed you would do good for all the residents of our state. Unfortunately, that has not been the case as you have continued to exclude Italian Americans from your agenda,” Michele Cangiano Ment and John Fratta of the Sons of Italy in America said in their letter.