Nassau County Finances Taken Over By New York State Watchdog

UNIONDALE, N.Y. One of the nation's wealthiest counties was placed Wednesday under a state fiscal watchdog that determined it was headed for financial trouble, opening the possibility of a wage freeze for thousands of workers.

The unanimous vote by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority came after auditors found Nassau County's 2011 budget gap could be as much as $176 million. The authority is required to take control of the county's finances any time it finds the risk of a 1 percent deficit, or $26 million.

The decision puts the authority in charge of borrowing for operating expenses and means it also must approve any county contracts, from purchasing new shovels to agreements