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DEPUTY COUNTY CLERK Moniquka Diaz-Corley will lost her position under incoming County Clerk Dan Briggs.


By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO — December 28, 2007 — Incoming Republican Sullivan County Clerk Dan Briggs has informed Deputy County Clerks Moniquka Diaz-Corley and Angel Lamboy that he will not be needing their services come January.
While Briggs himself declined to comment, Diaz-Corley and Lamboy both confirmed that they had received letters from Briggs telling them he was planning to choose others to fill their roles – jobs which have historically been political appointments.
Lamboy, the former Fallsburg Police Department chief who was named to head the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) by current Democratic County Clerk Neil Gilberg, said he was not surprised by the move – at least with himself.
“I’m not disappointed,” he remarked this week. “… I wouldn’t have stayed anyway.”
He was, however, caught off-guard by Briggs’ decision not to keep Diaz-Corley, who not only spent years at the DMV in Lamboy’s position but also was known for her friendship with Briggs.
“I’m really upset with that,” said Lamboy, speaking of her loss.
Diaz-Corley revealed that she too was surprised but took a non-angry approach.
“That’s his choice,” she remarked of Briggs. “… It’s definitely a disappointment.”
Gilberg’s second-in-command, Diaz-Corley was promoted to the position when Gilberg was appointed by Governor Eliot Spitzer to replace longtime Democratic Clerk George Cooke this past spring.
“I worked very hard to get this office caught up to where it was when George left,” said Diaz-Corley, who recalled slogging through 16 days’ worth of mail (the backlog now is about four days, she said, which “is actually considered current”).
“I put together a team of individuals who are dedicated to their jobs,” she added, praising the entire office staff for maintaining excellent service during one transition after another (Cooke’s duties were temporarily taken over by Nora Manzolillo, whom Gilberg controversially let go in favor of Diaz-Corley).
Gilberg expressed shock as well that Briggs wasn’t going with Diaz-Corley.
“I thought he would have kept Moniquka for sure,” said the county clerk this week. “I think Mr. Briggs is making a big mistake.”
Though Gilberg noted that his deputy carefully attempted to stay out of the election – not once campaigning for him – Diaz-Corley said she was glad to have worked with him, noting how much effort he put into his ultimately unsuccessful bid to actually be elected to the position.
While she’s sure Gilberg would have “done a great job,” Diaz-Corley is equally sure “Danny will too.”
Gilberg hopes that will be the case, but he remains proud of fixing major issues within the office, including morale.
“I’m most proud of bringing back a sense of civility to that office,” he said.
He praised Diaz-Corley and Lamboy for their roles in the process.
“Both of them exceeded my expectations,” he remarked. “Both were wonderful at their jobs, both were highly professional – as were all of the staff at the office.”
For those that are staying, “I just hope they’re treated fairly in the future,” he said.
Like Gilberg, Diaz-Corley and Lamboy expressed no concrete plans for future employment, but both are looking to stay in the area and remain involved in community activities. Diaz-Corley will also continue as a Town of Thompson councilwoman.
She wishes Briggs well and is glad to leave the office “in a very good position” for the new clerk and her own successor.
Briggs has not officially named his two deputy clerks yet, as he won’t assume the mantle of county clerk until January 1.

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