Following up on yesterday’s news about Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’s ties to a law firm with clients that do business with New York (seems like a remake of Casablanca – gambling in this establishment? I am shocked) today the New York Daily News has a story that former PIC commissioner Dan Alonso’s law firm charged the New York State Senate (in the democrats control at the time) $376,000 to provide legal work in getting rid of Hiram Montserrate. Now I don’t know which is more shocking that it took that much effort to get rid of Montserrate or that no one has a problem with the senate employing a member of the Public Integrity Commission. The same commission that would be charged with investigating gifts to members of the senate. I can see the executive session now between gorging themselves on a catered lunch they unanimously state “A gift to a senator I am shocked”. I did ask the commission to investigate Alonso doing his legal work for free (seemed to me a lobbyist like his law firm should not be doing work for a public official for free – that is a gift) but of course Barry “my wife is a lobbyist” Ginsberg saw no gift. Can’t you hear the piano playing in the background?
So as long as we are talking about PIC and conflicts here is the list I know of I’m sure I’m missing some.
1. Barry Ginsberg (executive director) married to a registered lobbyist –don’t we all wish we could get the same treatment as Mrs. Ginsberg?
2. Herb Teitelbaum (disgraced ex executive director) married to a client of a lobbyist
3. John Feerick (disgraced ex chairman) serves on the Board of Directors of two clients of lobbyists.
4. Michael Cherkasky (ex chairman) god only knows how many conflicts he won’t tell us but he had to resign he had so many.
5. Howard Levine (commissioner) senior counsel to a registered lobbyist (law firm)
6. John Brickman (commissioner) serves on the Board of Directors of two clients of lobbyists.
7. Joseph Spinelli (former commissioner) worked for a client of a registered lobbyist
8. Dan French (former commissioner) was a registered lobbyist
9. Dan Alonso (former commissioner) employed by a registered lobbyist
10. Mark Peters (commissioner) employed by a lobbyist law firm, stay tuned I’ve got more on this one
11. Christine Kopec (hearing officer) employed by the client of a registered lobbyist
12. Ralph Miccio (special counsel) owns a horse regulated by NYRA a client of a registered lobbyist.
That’s quite a large card game for such a small gin joint.
By the way all of the foregoing is available on the financial disclosure reports and lobbyist filings database. Remember look but don’t touch