monkeeys

monkeeys

Friday, February 23, 2018

Have you no decency Mr. Agata?

The JJOKE has a commission meeting Tuesday.

The agenda is posted and other than the usual BS and yet another request from NYCLU to be exempted from source of funding disclosure which will be denied by a close vote there is no reason to expect that Agata's violations of the Public Officers Law will be discussed.

And knowing the Albany media and the good government groups the way I do there is no reason to expect that anyone will ask Agata or any JJOKE commissioner to defend and/or explain Agata's violations of the Public Officer Law.

No Agata will sit at the head of the table doing his best Al Franken impersonation with a stupid aw shucks I'm a nice guy grin and business will go on as usual.  And the elephant in the room (Agata's violations of the Public Officers Law) will just keep shitting on everyone's reputation that serves as a commissioner or a staff member at JJOKE.

They all know by now that JJOKE is being led by a Public Officers Law violator and those with any integrity are ashamed to be associated with him but are there any with integrity?

Let me see if I can time travel and relate what the commission meeting should sound like if any integrity still existed on JJOKE:

Rozen - The meeting of JJOKE is called to order.
Rob Cohen - Excuse me it's JCOPE Mr. Chair.
Rozen- No Rob it's JJOKE because that's what we have become.  Seth would you care to explain your recent sworn testimony in the Percoco criminal trial?
Agata- I think it would be best Chair if we all followed the Governors lead and refrained from any comment during the trial.  Lets let justice be served.
Gary Lavine - Seeeeeth I must respectfully and slowly disagree with your position.  It seeeeeeeeeeems to me that since your testimony was under oath and has been made available to all of us in the form of a complaint from that fat bastard Grandeau that you could discussssssssssssssss it without any danger of effecting or affecting the outcome of that trial.
Dawn Smalls- Yea bitch I want to know why you used taxpayer funded time to help that bully Percoco when he wasn't even a state employee.
McCauliffe - I agree unless you thought you were assisting an unincorporated 501c3 organization.
Rob Cohen - There is no such thing commissioner.
McCauliffe - I never said there was
Rob Cohen - you just did
McAuliffe - did not
Rob Cohen - did to
McCauliffe - did not
Jim Yates - will you two idiots shut up.  Seth you've been around long enough to know better than to use government letterhead to do personal business What the fuck?  The last thing anyone on this joke of an ethics commission needs is anybody asking question about our integrity.  Christ I was up to my eyeballs in the Silver case.  Marvin was Shelly's collage or law school roommate or something. Weissman was Skelos's wine drinking buddy.  Rob used to work for JJOKE under Biben and is only here because a former executive director vouched for him and assured all of us that he would never be late with his attorney certification again.  So Seth how do you explain using government letterhead to give a private citizen a legal opinion while you were on state time?
Agata - Percoco scares me.  And I never thought anyone would find out.  After all we are the ones that say what is and is not ethical  can't we just ignore Grandeau's complaint?
Rozen - Of course we can but after Percoco is convicted don't you realize the focus will turn to Cuomo and he will need to throw someone under the bus and that someone is you and JJOKE.
Martin Levine - Really?  we've gotten away with worse before.
Stamm - Martin you ignorant smurf we got away with it before because the governor was on our side if it comes down to us or him it's us. I gotta be honest here Seth You need to resign now.  I can do your job better than you anyway.
Keith St John - I'm with Monica you need to resign Seth you are a disgrace
Andrew Bechard - I'm with Monica you need to resign Seth you are a disgrace
Carol Quinn - I'm with Monica you need to resign Seth you are a disgrace
Walt Mclure - I'm with Monica you need to resign Seth you are a disgrace
Pei Pei - I'm with Monica you need to resign Seth you are a disgrace
Emily Logue - I'm with Monica you need to resign Seth you are a disgrace
Michael Sande - I'm with Monica you need to resign Seth you are a disgrace
Erin Lynch - I'm with Monica you need to resign Seth you are a disgrace
Patrick E. Coultry, Chief Investigator- I'm with Monica you need to resign Seth you are a disgrace
Peter J. Smith, Investigator- I'm with Monica you need to resign Seth you are a disgrace
Richard Coraggio, Investigator  - I'm with Monica you need to resign Seth you are a disgrace
Lori Donadio, Principal Investigative Analyst - I'm with Monica you need to resign Seth you are a disgrace
Katherine Santandrea, Secretary to the Commission - I'm with Monica you need to resign Seth you are a disgrace
Martin Levine - Not me Seth  those of us with small stature and smaller integrity need to stay together  Nothing you do can reflect on me or on JJOKE any worse than we have already done ourselves I say hang in there.  If you didn't think you would get caught then you weren't putting us at risk.  If you thought you would get caught then you were 1000 percent wrong but if you didn't think you would get caught then you weren't risking any of our jobs.
Rozen - Did you just quote Eric Roberts from the Pope of Greenwhich Village?  Great movie but not a good analogy.  Seth do you want to apologize?
Agata - Percoco scared me
 
And that ladies and gentleman is all you will get from Agata and JJOKE
 
But admit it don't you want someone at JJOKE to explain why Seth Agata is the right person to lead New York's Ethics agency?  It's like having El Chapo run the DEA.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Why Agata should never get another job as a NY government employee . . . especially a court of claims appointment

If you need another example of Agata's lack of integrity just look at the exhibit from his sworn testimony:





A couple of things to note here.  First Percoco sent Agata's opinion (prepared on state time) to Howe, which means somehow Percoco got it, either from Agata or the mythical file that Agata claims he prepared it for.  But most importantly look at the top of the memo.  That is state letterhead Agata used.

Now look at the ethics reminder JCOPE published in January of 2016.

http://www.jcope.ny.gov/advice/JCOPE%20Ethics%20Reminder_Letterhead.pdf.pdf

Do you think Agata ever read the ethics reminder?  He did exactly what JCOPE tells every state employee NOT to do.  And Howe and Percoco used that memo on official Executive Chamber letterhead to assist their corrupt scheme.  Way to go Agata.

Can you imagine how it will look when he leaves JJOKE if they get him another state gig that requires integrity?  You know like a judgeship.

Maybe at the commission meeting Tuesday some JJOKE commissioner will sack up and discuss Agata's ethics violations with the press.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Agata Complaint aka and you wonder why Albany ethics is a joke?

Does anyone think JJOKE will investigate it's own hand picked Cuomo apparatchik?


Before The New York State JOINT Commission

on Public ETHICS

 

 

 

 

 

 


david grandeau,

 

Complainant,

 

v.

 

Joint Commission on public ethics executive director seth agata

 

 

Respondent.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

IN THE MATTER OF AN INVESTIGATION INTO MISCONDUCT BY Joint Commission on public ethics executive director seth agata

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

         David Grandeau (“Complainant”) files this Complaint and based on the information detailed herein, respectfully petitions the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (the “Commission”) to investigate the misconduct of Joint Commission on Public Ethics Executive Director Seth Agata  (the “Respondent”)§ 74 et seq.

         Seth Agata, an employee of the JCOPE has violated Public Officers Law § 74(3)(d), (f) and (h) by engaging in acts that have violated the trust of the public and are being pursued to advance Mr. Agata’s non-governmental interests.

         Mr. Agata’s statements and conduct evidence a motive that is inconsistent with his former role as Acting Counsel for Governor Cuomo and his current role as Executive Director of the Commission.

         While employed as Acting Counsel to Governor Cuomo in July 2014, Mr. Agata, engaged in a pattern of misconduct to the detriment of both complainant and the State of New York.    Respondent has used state resources, to support his efforts to secure privileges for Joseph Percoco, a private citizen, when there is no legitimate state purpose for doing so.  Respondent has also continued to use his state position as Executive Director to benefit Mr. Percoco when there is no legitimate state purpose for doing so.  Such actions, clearly raise suspicion that they were being undertaken in violation of the respondents’ public trust and were not made to further either New York State’s nor the Commission’s legitimate interests but rather to benefit Respondent and Joseph Percoco and give reasonable basis for the impression that Respondent has been improperly influenced in the performance of his official duties. 

 

Background

        In July of 2014, Respondent, while employed by the State of New York, provided legal advice and counsel to Joseph Percoco, a non-state employee, with no right to receive legal counsel from the respondent, while Respondent was acting in his official capacity as Acting Counsel to Governor Cuomo.

      Mr. Agata in recent testimony in a Federal criminal trial of Mr. Percoco testified under oath as follows, establishing that Joseph Percoco was not a state employee in July of 2014:

Q. Turning back to Joseph Percoco, you said he was the executive deputy secretary?

A. Yes.

Q. When did he hold that title?

A. He held that title from - - as far as I know, he came in with that title January1, 2011.  He left the chamber sometime in spring of 2014, came back later in the year and resumed that title. (Percoco transcript page 1105)

He then testifies as follows regarding the provision of legal advice to Mr. Percoco:

Q. Before you get to that, where did the second occasion occur?

A. It occurred in Joe’s office in July of 2014.  Joe’s office in Albany, the office he had in Albany.

Q. Let me pause you there.  You said it occurred in July of 2014.  That was after Joe Percoco had left to go work on the governor’s campaign: correct?

A. That’s correct. . . .” (Percoco transcript page 1127)

Then Mr. Agata continued as follows:

Q. So, generally. What did Joe Percoco ask you about in this second conversation in July of 2014?

A.Joe was sitting at his desk, and he asked me to come over.  And he had mentioned to me that he was looking to get - - do some work for a law firm and earn some money doing work for a law firm, and, you know what kind of restrictions - - what kind of problems would he have with, you know - - if any would he have with working there.  I asked him, does this law firm have any business in front of the state? Would he be doing any work in front of the State?  And he said No. He said it would be municipal work, labor work.  And I said, well, that’s - - anything, any projects at all in front of the state?  He said, No, nothing at all  I said that’s great. . . (Percoco transcript page 1128)

     Mr. Agata further testified that he documented his guidance to Mr. Percoco in a memo which was admitted into evidence (Percoco transcript page 1129 - 1130)

     In addition Respondent testified under oath that he had provided Mr. Percoco with legal guidance regarding the use of private aircraft for the governor’s campaign (Percoco transcript page 1147) and the use of private aircraft for the New York State Democratic Party (Percoco transcript page 1148).

 

JURISDICTION OF THE COMMISSION

The Commission is authorized by Executive Law §94(13)(a) to commence inquiries into credible violations of Public Officers Law § 74. Pursuant to Executive Law §94(17)(c), the Commission is authorized to conduct any investigation necessary to carry out the provisions of Executive Law §94. Pursuant to this power and duty, the Commission may administer oaths or affirmations, subpoena witnesses, compel the attendance of targets or witnesses, and require the production of any books or records that it may deem relevant or material.

       When the Commission determines there has been a violation of § 74(4), it is authorized to assess a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars and the value of any gift, compensation or benefit received as a result of such violation. 

       In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law any such officer, member or employee who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of § 74 may be fined, suspended or removed from office or employment in the manner provided by law.

New York Public Officers Law


         The conduct of Respondent Agata has violated multiple provisions of New York law, summarized below, and justify further investigation by the “Commission”.

A.      Section 74(3)(f) and (h)

      Under Section 74(3)(f), a state official “should not by his conduct give reasonable basis for the impression that any person can improperly influence him or unduly enjoy his favor in the performance of his official duties.”   Public Officers Law Section 74(3)(h) requires that a state official “should endeavor to pursue a course of conduct which will not raise suspicion among the public that he is likely to be engaged in acts that are in violation of his trust.”  

         Respondent has violated these sections of the Public Officers Law by offering legal services to Joseph Percoco that were not part of his official duties as Acting Counsel to Governor Cuomo. Respondent further violated these sections by failing to recuse himself before engaging or refusing to engage in regulatory actions affecting Joseph Percoco in respondent’s present position as Executive Director of the “Commission”.   

         Respondent’s actions in providing legal advice to Joseph Percoco regarding employment by Mr. Percoco after he had left State service clearly raises suspicion that such actions were not made to further New York State’s legitimate interests but rather to benefit Respondent and or Mr. Percoco personally, and further raises suspicion that such actions were in violation of the respondents’ public trust and give reasonable basis for the impression that he has been improperly influenced in the performance of his official duties.

        Respondent’s actions in providing legal advice to Joseph Percoco regarding the use of a private airplane for travel by Governor Cuomo’s campaign clearly raises suspicion that such actions were not made to further New York State’s legitimate interests but rather to benefit Respondent and or Mr. Percoco personally, and further raises suspicion that such actions were in violation of the respondents’ public trust and give reasonable basis for the impression that he has been improperly influenced in the performance of his official duties.

     Respondent’s actions in providing legal advice to Joseph Percoco regarding use of private aircraft by the State Democratic Party clearly raises suspicion that such actions were not made to further New York State’s legitimate interests but rather to benefit Respondent and or Mr. Percoco personally, and further raises suspicion that such actions were in violation of the respondents’ public trust and give reasonable basis for the impression that he has been improperly influenced in the performance of his official duties.         

     Respondent’s actions in providing Mr. Percoco a waiver from filing a financial disclosure report by May 15, 2015 clearly raises suspicion that such actions were not made to further New York State’s legitimate interests but rather to benefit Respondent and or Mr. Percoco personally, and further raises suspicion that such actions were in violation of the respondents’ public trust and give reasonable basis for the impression that he has been improperly influenced in the performance of his official duties.

     Respondent’s actions in failing to report Mr. Percoco’s use of state offices and resources after he had left state service and was working for Governor Cuomo’s campaign clearly raises suspicion that such actions were not made to further New York State’s legitimate interests but rather to benefit Respondent and or Mr. Percoco personally, and further raises suspicion that such actions were in violation of the respondents’ public trust and give reasonable basis for the impression that he has been improperly influenced in the performance of his official duties.

B.  Section 74(3)(d)


Under Section 74(3(d), no official “should use or attempt to use his or her official position to secure unwarranted privileges . . . for himself, herself or others including, but not limited to, the misappropriation to himself, herself or to others of the property, services or other resources of the state for private business or other compensated non-governmental purposes.”  Here, Respondent has used his official position to engage in a series of actions that have no legitimate State purpose. In doing so, Respondent has used state resources, such as employee time and state equipment, to support his efforts to benefit Mr. Percoco.  In addition, Mr. Agata has secured privileges for himself by continuing his actions when there is no legitimate state purpose for doing so.

          When Respondent provided Joseph Percoco a legal opinion related to employment after he had left state service and at a time when Mr. Percoco was a private citizen and not a state employee. Respondent used or attempted to use his official position to secure unwarranted privileges for Mr. Percoco.  Such action, rather than vindicating any public right or obtaining any public relief clearly raises suspicion that it is being undertaken in violation of the respondents’ public trust and were not made to further New York State’s legitimate interests but rather to benefit Mr. Percoco and give reasonable basis for the impression that Respondent has been improperly influenced in the performance of his official duties.

 

E.  Section 74(4)


Section 74(4) of the Public Officers Law provides: “In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law any such officer, member or employee who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of this section may be fined, suspended or removed from office or employment in the manner provided by law.”  It provides further that for intentional violations of certain subsections, such as Section 74(3)(d), violators “shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars and the value of any gift, compensation or benefit received as a result of such violation.” 

 

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the complainant believes that the evidence leads to the inexorable conclusion that Respondent’s actions have violated several New York State laws governing the ethics of public officials.  We respectfully submit that this matter warrants your immediate consideration and a thorough investigation.



All I can do is keep tilting at windmills and hope some JCOPE commissioner is willing to do their job and not simply follow orders
 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Percoco trials first casualty AGATA

Seth Agata testified under oath yesterday at Joe Percoco's corruption trial.

Did he provide expert witness testimony about New York's ethics laws?  Not so much.

He testified about legal advice he rendered to Joe Percoco about outside employment.

At the time he provided that advice he was an acting counsel of some sort for the Governor.  So what did his testimony show?

While I will wait for the transcript upon which to base the series of complaints I will lodge against Agata, it appears he told Percoco to "not touch with a ten foot pole" any business Percoco may have with entities with business before the state.  Sound if somewhat basic advice to give a former staffer.  And therein lies the proof of Agata's problem.

PERCOCO WAS A FORMER STATE EMPLOYEE

Agata was a government lawyer paid by the taxpayers to represent New York State not private citizen Joe Percoco.

His advice to Percoco is a clear violation of Public Officers Law section 74 (3) (d).  Misuse of state resources.

In addition he provided that advice to Percoco while witnessing Percoco misuse state resources in the form of his former office.  Agata was the ethics officer don't you think he should have reported Percoco's use of his government office when he wasn't a government employee?  "Gambling in this establishment I'm shocked" to quote Casa Blanca.

Then there is the question of who Agata's client was when he provided that advice.  Was it private citizen Joe Percoco? Was it Cuomo's election campaign whom Percoco was working for? Was it Cuomo himself whom I'm sure thought Agata would be protecting his interests? Was it the Governor's office? Was it the State of New York?   It's an important question because lawyers including government lawyers like Agata have very strict disciplinary rules to follow.  I'm sure the attorney disciplinary committee is paying close attention to the various lawyers involved in the Percoco corruption trial.

And it gets worse for Agata.  After providing Percoco a legal opinion Agata found himself running JJOKE (I wonder why?) and was in a position to check Joe Percoco's financial disclosure report to see if he followed the advice Agata provided while violating the public officers law.  But surprise surprise he didn't do that "I see nothing I see nothing"  He did his Sgt Schultz impersonation because Percoco failed to file that disclosure report.  When called on the failure Agata doubled down and stated that Percoco did not have to because of some mythical unwritten policy that Agata decided to follow granting Percoco a waiver. 

How many violations of the Public Officers Law did you just count up?

But no worries I am sure the commissioners at JJOKE who have a meeting today are diligently following the Percoco trial and starting investigations into all the Public Officers Law violations that have been testified to under oath.

The simple solution here is for Agata to be fired or resign   Today!

But he won't

At least we now know what makes Agata tick.  He is a coward.  Just following orders.  Even from people that no longer have the authority to issue him those orders.

Hey Seth have you been issued a set of kneepads for every government job you've held?

Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas

For those of you waiting for this years version of Twas the night before rhyme I have to disappoint you.  I've just been too busy servicing my clients, what with all the growth I have experienced and all the issues JJOKE has created.

But that's not to say it has not been a merry holiday season as I just received written notification from JJOKE Director of Lobbying Andrew Bechard that he has withdrawn 36 separate late fee billing notices that JJOKE had wrongfully imposed on my clients.  In response to my written objections pointing out how JJOKE was wrong in imposing the late fees in the first place Mr. Bechard (whom I have never met) admitted that the late fees never should have been imposed by JJOKE staff to begin with and stated that they had reviewed my arguments citing the proper application of the Lobby Act and "arguing against the late fees . . . and find them to be persuasive".

Now ordinarily I would share with the regulated community the basis for my arguments since I am sure JJOKE has imposed late fees on many other lobbyists under the same legal theory I just successfully challenged, but that wouldn't be fair to the clients that pay me for that advice and protection.  Suffice to say if JJOKE has imposed a late fee you don't think was fair call me for a consultation.

Twas the night before Christmas and all thru the regulated community
Lobbyists have realized its cost effective and safer to just hire ME


Monday, December 18, 2017

Commission Meeting Quiz

Following up on the last post discussing the jackasses at JJOKE trying to discuss proposed regulations that they lack the authority to issue or the knowledge and intelligence to discuss I thought I would pose a simple question and see if any of the Jgeniuses could answer it at tomorrows JJOKE meeting also known as the gathering of the clowns.

The proposed regulations state that a coalition is :

"Coalition means a group of otherwise-unaffiliated entities or members who pool funds for the primary purpose of engaging in Lobbying Activities on behalf of the members of the Coalition."

The proposed regulations then state:

"A Coalition that expends or incurs more than $5,000 in annual Compensation and Expenses related to Lobbying Activity shall either:

(a) File a Lobbying report with the Commission identifying itself as a Lobbyist and/or a Client, provided the Coalition identifies a Responsible Party and it maintains an up-to-date written instrument with the Commission disclosing all Coalition members who exceed $5,000 in cumulative annual Lobbying compensation and expenses; or

(b) If the Coalition does not file its own Lobbying report, then each member who is required to file a Lobbying report (either through the Coalition activity and/or other Lobbying Activity engaged in by the member) must disclose in such report their own contribution to such Coalition, including the contribution amount and name of the Coalition to which it contributed."

With that definition in play here is the question

How does a coalition spend or receive funds?

Simple question lets see how McAuliffe and the rest of the mensa types answer it.

Here's a hint go to your local bank and try to open an account in the name of a coalition as it is defined above.

Good luck.

Unless JJOKE expects coalitions to use cash or bitcoin they will be unable to spend or receive funds.

And before you say you are just following the old lobby commission opinion allowing this activity I wrote that opinion BEFORE source of funding was required.

All a coalition is, is a fancy way to allow an alias to be used.

If you can spend or receive funds you actually exist and should register and report under your actual corporate or individual existence.

Maybe McAuliffe was on to something with his unincorporated 501c3 nonsense. 

Try to contribute a campaign donation in the name of a coalition and see what happens.

I look forward to tomorrows JCOPE meeting and a lively discussion about coalitions.

Friday, December 1, 2017

A camel is a horse designed by a committee and JJOKE regulations are laws designed by jackasses

Anyone that watched the latest JJOKE meeting was treated to the glaring reality that JJOKE commissioners have no clue what the Lobby Act they are supposed to be enforcing actually says.

And no I'm not talking about the most recent flip flop where they publicly emasculated their executive director and said that the proposed lobby regulations now do have the force and effect of law even though Agata was very clear last time that they were merely guidance.  The fact that Mike Rozen was so clear that the proposed regs are actually regulations is a good thing.  There can be no doubt now about the issue for my Article 78.  I say JJOKE doesn't have the authority to issue lobby regulations JJOKE says they do, we will let a court decide.

No I'm talking about how foolish the JJOKE commissioners that commented on the proposed regulations sounded.  They proved the adage that it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt.

Case in point Commissioner McAuliffe.  I had heard from some friends that knew him from out west that he is a blowhard that loves to hear himself speak.  His performance at the meeting validated the assessment.  Here are a couple of his better moments:

At approximately the 30 minute mark during a conversation about coalitions (we will discuss coalitions shortly) McAuliffe chimes in with this beauty "this will include unincorporated 501c3 organizations correct?"   WTF?????    There is no such thing as an unincorporated 501c3 organization.   Does McAuliffe know what a 501c3 is? does he know what the term unincorporated means.  How is it even possible for the two terms to be combined?  It's like saying a pregnant gelding.  Gelding . . . get it like Agata after Rozen issued his statement on regulations.

McAuliffe had preceded that beauty with his discussion of applications by commissioned sales people for exemptions from being lobbyists.   Does he understand anything about procurement lobbying?  Does he know why commissioned salespeople are exempt?  Why there is no process to apply for an exemption?  Clearly not, he just wanted to hear himself bloviate.  And he topped it by referencing the "quarterly reporting obligations"   Quarterly?   Who reports quarterly?   Lobbyists report on a bimonthly basis.  Bimonthly you know every other month.   And nobody, not the staff nor the other commissioners correct him.

Then McAuliffe asks if reportable business relationships covered under 943.14 are effected by 943.4a2 that exempts lawyers providing legal services from the definition of lobbyist but requires registration after they are retained to lobby.  Staff look at each other in utter confusion as the two sections have nothing to do with one another but no one says what the fuck are you talking about.   Clueless clowns

Lastly a lively argument breaks out about who has to be included in coalitions for expense reporting purposes but no one seems to realize that coalitions can not report expenses as they do not exist and have no legal standing   They can not have bank accounts, they can't deposit funds or expend them.  They are merely aliases for groups each spending their own funds.   Chew on this one guys and gals   If I register a coalition how can that coalition report source of funding when they can not legally receive donations and or contributions?   All you are doing with regulations allowing coalitions to register is promoting a mechanism to hide lobbying expenditures.   And before you bring up the old lobby commission opinion allowing coalitions to register I wrote that opinion so I actually understand it.  And I know it was written before source of funding disclosure was required.   I would never have written that same opinion today.  I'd follow New York City's lead and only allow actual legal entities to register as lobbyists or be reported as clients.   But thanks for creating even more ways for my clients to follow your rules and shelter disclosure    DOPES