By Howard Koplowitz
State Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer (D-Rockaway Beach) was appointed last week to succeed the late Gloria D’Amico as Queens County Clerk by a personnel committee of the State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division.
Pheffer, who could not be reached for comment, earlier told TimesLedger Newspapers that she would accept the position if it was offered to her.
She was recommended for the clerkship by the Queens County Democratic Party and selected last Thursday by a three-judge panel headed by A. Gail Prudenti, the presiding judge of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department.
Pheffer’s first day on her new job is May 12.
“Audrey Pheffer is a passionate and resourceful leader who has committed her life to serving the community of Queens County. She is a highly respected member of the New York State Assembly who will bring dedication, extraordinary problem-solving skills and a wealth of knowledge to her new role as the county clerk,” Prudenti said in a statement. “I believe this appointment is the next progression in Ms. Pheffer’s distinguished career of public service. I am confident that her primary objective, which is ensuring that government is responsive to the needs of the people, will build on the proud legacy of her predecessor, the late Gloria D’Amico.”
D’Amico, who had been county clerk since 1991, died of cancer in December.
The Appellate Division’s Personnel Committee chose Pheffer after an interview process and the assemblywoman “was found to be the most qualified candidate by the committee.”
It was unclear how many others beside Pheffer sought the job.
Pheffer reportedly vacated her position as a Democratic district leader and was replaced by her chief of staff, Joanne Simon, but Pheffer could not be reached to verify the reports.
The assemblywoman also said Simon was her preferred choice to succeed her in the Assembly, although other names have been floated, including Democratic District Leaders Frank Gulluscio, Lew Simon and Geraldine Chapey.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has so far not called for a special election to replace Pheffer.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.