City demotes two Brooklyn snow chiefs in blizzard fallout

Let the “clean-up” begin!

As another snowstorm pounded the city, two Sanitation officials responsible for last week’s botched snow clean-up of two thirds of Brooklyn were reassigned elsewhere in the borough, the first step in the fallout from the agency’s lackadaisical response to the Mega-Blizzard of 2010.

The agency also reorganized its South Brooklyn command zone, removing three districts — Crown Heights, Brownsville, and East Flatbush — and reassigning them to its northern command. With the shift, each command will encompass nine districts each.

“After examining our performance during the massive blizzard, among the things we found were that structural and personnel changes were in order in Brooklyn to create a more balanced operation,” Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said in a statement.

As a result, Brooklyn South Assistant Chief Joseph Montgomery was moved to the agency’s cleaning operations office in Lower Manhattan, and Deputy Joseph Susol will be relocated to Brooklyn South District 18 in Canarsie. Susol was on night duty throughout the blizzard.

Also, Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano announced that John Peruggia, head of Emergency Medical Services, has been replaced, and move to a yet-to-be-determined post.

Critics labeled the moves demotions, and predicted more could be in store.

“The buck should not stop there,” charged Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Fort Greene), chairwoman of the Council’s Sanitation Committee.

“Brooklyn South was not responsible for the complete collapse of protocol in the city,” she said. “There should be further investigation and review of the agency’s processes and staff, including some deputy mayors.”

The council will hold hearings on the storm response on Jan. 10.

City workers also being investigated by federal prosecutors for allegedly sabotaging the clean-up effort to protest budget and staff cuts by Mayor Bloomberg.

Forecasters were predicting the latest storm could dump up to six inches on streets still filled with packed snow and trash bags. But as of today, it didn’t appear to do that much damage — political or otherwise.

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