John Kennedy ’79

Suffolk County Comptroller

John Kennedy ’79, Suffolk Country Comptroller

John Kennedy was elected to the Suffolk County Legislature on November 2, 2004 on the Republican, Independence, Conservative and Working Families lines, receiving an overwhelming 60% of the vote.

In the ensuing months, John passed legislation to properly recognize Veterans interred at private cemeteries in Suffolk County at Memorial Day observances. He made good on his promise to preserve open space and to protect our groundwater with legislation for acquisitions in Hauppauge, Lake Grove, Lake Ronkonkoma and Nesconset. He obtained substantial monies for groundwater protection projects in Lake Ronkonkoma and Smithtown. In August of 2005, the County Executive signed into law his landmark legislation to create a paperless, computerized system for prehospital care reports (PCRs) required in provision of emergency medical services, thereby ultimately enhancing EMS operations and improving patient care.
Prior to his election, John served as the Official Examiner of Title for the Suffolk County Clerk’s Office. He served in Riverhead with the County Clerk for eight years, directing the day-to-day operations for a staff of 130. The Clerk’s office records all deeds, mortgages and other land records for over 500,000 parcels of Suffolk County land. In 2003, the office collected over $400 million in fees and taxes through the use of enhanced technology and streamlined procedures.
John’s county service began in 1986 under County Executive Peter Cohalan in the Office for Aging. He went on to serve successive County Executives LoGrande, Halpin and Gaffney, working extensively on Federal Transportation, Health Care and Environmental issues, including protection of the ecosystems and water quality of Long Island Sound. John also served as liaison to the Council on Environmental Quality.
Early in his career, John worked as a member of Local 25 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and with the Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI). He worked for the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) at Kings Park Psychiatric Center while he attended SUNY at Stony Brook, receiving a B.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Biology in 1979. John rose within OMH and became a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and Administrator for an 80-person out patient day treatment program. All the while, John pursued higher education, receiving his Master’s in Business Administration (concentration in Capital Budgeting) from Adelphi University.
John then gained his Juris Doctor from the St. John’s University School of Law. Over the last few years, John has practiced law with the firm of Sullivan & Kehoe, concentrating in the areas of Social Security & Long Term Disability benefits. John is admitted to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and he has successfully represented World War II and Vietnam Veterans in their quest for disability benefits. He has done work on the behalf of those afflicted with AIDS, and is Pro-Bono Counsel to a not for profit organization, The 343 House, dedicated to the assistance of widows and orphans of line of duty deceased New York City Firefighters.
John has been married to his wife, Leslie, for 37 years. They have four grown children: John Christopher, Kristen, Brian, and Gillian. The Kennedy family has resided in Nesconset for 27 years. John has been a lifelong Suffolk County resident.
John was elected to Suffolk County Comptroller with almost 53% of the vote taking office on January 1st, 2015. Kennedy will be leaving his post as Legislator of the 12th Legislative District in the Suffolk County Legislature after 10 years of exemplary service.

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