County News

Legislative Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt dies

Republican leader suffered heart attack in chambers


The Nassau County Legislature's majority leader, Peter Schmitt, a Republican from Massapequa, died at 11:55 a.m. on Oct. 3 after suffering a heart attack, sources said.

According to Herald sources, Schmitt, 62, was in the office of Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano when he had the heart attack. Schmitt was rushed to Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, where he arrived at about 11:30 a.m., but he could not be revived.

Schmitt, who represented the 12th District, was first elected to the Legislature in 1995. The 12th District encompasses Massapequa and Massapequa Park as well as parts of Seaford and North Massapequa.

"Nassau County has lost a dedicated public servant. My wife Linda and I lost a friend of over 20 years," said Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano in a statement on Twitter. "Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt served the residents of Nassau County with great integrity and pride. I had the privilege of serving closely with Peter in the Legislature since its creation in 1996, where he distinguished himself as an outspoken advocate for the residents of the 12th Legislative District.

"Peter was a loving husband, father and most recently a doting grandfather," Mangano continued. "My deepest sympathies go out to his wife Lois, his daughter Samantha and his entire family. Nassau County is a better place because of Peter’s leadership, commitment and compassion and he will be greatly missed."

"He was a friend, a wonderful man," said Legislator Howard Kopel (R-Lawrence). "I started three years ago, and I knew I could always go to him for advice. He cared about us, each and every one of the people in his conference. He became a real honest-to-goodness friend."

Schmitt was a trustee of the Massapequa Historical Society, a past president of the Treehaven Civic Association, a past chairman of the Massapequa Heart Fund, a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Massapequa, a past officer of the BPO Elks 2162 and a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 15.

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