Friday, August 27, 2010


I’ve got a friend (some of you who read this blog may even know who I’m talking about) who insists that when you don’t tell the whole story it’s not a lie. This person defines lying as knowingly providing information that is false. With a straight face this person can tell you part of the story leave part of it out and have a clear conscience that no lie was told. I’ve always found that trait more disturbing than the person who readily admits they lie. I trust the liar more because when they say something you know to look for the untruth. When my friend tells you something you have to look for what hasn’t been said.

You probably think I’m winding up to take another swing at how the commission handled the Patterson investigation. Nope Judge Kaye does a fine job of showing us that. The commission set a perjury trap by showing a blind man a check and asking did you write this? What more do we need to know The commission flak actually said today that they had shown the witness the evidence and he chose not to look at it Hey Walter if a tree falls in the forest and the only person in the forest is deaf does the falling tree make a sound?

No need to go over again the fact that the commission issued the report BEFORE the transcripts were available for review (we will ethically lynch him first then find him guilty then give him a trial)

Or mention again how the report came out BEFORE they took the testimony or lack thereof of the key witness to this whole sordid affair, David Johnson

Or say again that the lack of evidence at the show trial would have embarrassed a first year law student

Or question why an outside lawyer with ties to Mike the chair was allowed to investigate and prosecute the case (hey that’s another way to save the state about a million dollars a year fire all the commission lawyers and get Mike the chairs buddies to handle cases for free)

No my point is far simpler


Mike the chair is hoping no one will remember the question that way if he doesn’t answer it’s not a lie

Let me answer the question for you Mike YES THEY DID

On Tuesday July 27 Barry and Ralph outlined how program staff should calculate due dates

Now you don’t have to “lie” anymore by not answering the question. But you should go back and refund those late fees don’t you think

And before you start the internal witch hunt for who anonymously told, mailed telegraphed, signaled or telepathically provided me the answer(my guess would be it was a lawyer but keep in mind I could be lying about that) remember the last time Barry tried to find a leaker at the commission? It was trooper gate and he made every employee sign non disclosure agreements and had the commission attorneys question them. Every employee except one. That’s right the one employee who was leaking got a pass, Teitelbaum never had to answer any questions till the IG got to him even then he and Barry tried to avoid telling the truth by not telling the whole story. That’s right the same Barry Ginsberg who was rewarded with the executive directors job when Teitelbaum had to resign . Now don’t get mad Barry its right there on page 10 of the IG report “Both Teitelbaum and Ginsberg declined to answer basic questions asked by the Inspector General”

I guess refusing to answer basic or even simple questions is just the way this commission does business.

Oh how did Mike the chair respond to the leaking of confidential information and refusal to answer basic questions? he said to the New York Times that the commission “acted in an unbiased and objective manner”

The same answer I’m sure he’d give about refusing to tell the lobbying community about changing the way due dates are determined.

As an aside to the governor’s folks he also said that some of Teitelbaums actions may have been improper but the information that he was accused of providing was of little legal consequence. Using that logic if the governor misled the commission about a fact that was of little legal consequence shouldn’t he get a pass from the commission? Maybe in the next blog I’ll explore that theory in a little more detail.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I WAS READING YESTERDAYS Times Union editorial about the governor and the Yankee tickets and it reminded me of that carnival game “whack a mole”. You know the game you put in your money and little furry creatures (moles or prairie doggers) pop their heads up and you pound them with a big hammer It’s a lot of fun for the guy or gal with the hammer not so much fun for the mole.

That’s what the Times Union editorial reminded me of with the Times Union wielding the hammer

It’s easy to say that the gov should pay a huge fine for taking free tickets WHACK (of course it would have been nice to wait until someone actually produced evidence that the governor solicited the tickets all I heard was the Yankees say someone from the governors office not the governor asked for the tickets they never said who)

It’s easy to say the governor ignored warnings from his staff to pay for the tickets WHACK (of course all those warnings came after the fact when staff was trying to spin a news story – at the time the gov got the tickets his own counsel said it was ok they were for official business, seems to me we should be whacking the staff and the counsel not the gov)

It’s easy to say he lied under oath when he said he always intended to pay for the tickets WHACK (of course if the gov is never convicted of perjury he may be able to retire on what the TU will have to pay him for the libel lawsuit)

It’s easy to say he had the check backdated WHACK (of course read my post below about using special counsel Ralph as an expert witness on how the commission interprets check dates)WHACK (that one was me swinging the hammer I got to admit it’s a fun game)

It’s easy to say that the gov should set the tone for the rest of government by his actions WHACK (of course shouldn’t the commission set that tone as well its now 12 days with no answer to my question of HAS THE COMMISSION CHANGED THE WAY IT DETERMINES DUE DATES)

All right we know the Times Union can play whack a mole with the best of them BUT why has the Times Union failed to editorialize about the problems with the commission itself? Such as

The fact that the commission was actively investigating the governor while the governor had a bill on his desk for his signature that would have abolished the commission and nobody knew

The fact that the commission used the services of the chairs buddy to prosecute the case

The fact that the commission released its finding one day after the last testimony was taken even before the commissioners could review that testimony

The fact that the commission released its findings without taking the testimony of the key witness David Johnson

The fact that the commission’s case at the hearing was based almost entirely on hearsay

The fact that the commission’s case went in without the testimony of the key witness David Johnson

The fact that this commission has had an executive director that the Inspector General said leaked information to a target of an investigation

I’ve never seen the Times Union editorialize about any of that but I guess whack a mole is an easier game to play

And let me be clear I’m not a big fan of the governor, moles or prairie doggers We’ve all worked with people like them they are the workers in their cubicles never interacting with anyone else until they hear someone having fun and up they pop from there hole to see who it is and try to overhear what’s going on without having to take part annoying but not really harmful

But the one thing they learn is they can never win a game of whack a mole because the guy with the hammer only has to be good once As a result any prairie dogger that wants to survive keeps their head down

I think that explains why the governor never showed up for the hearing

I’m more a fan of Rocky V If one of my clients has to go to a commission hearing it will be a Rocky-Tommy Gunn matchup and we take it to the street

Monday, August 23, 2010

Congrats to special counsel Ralph and Coach Fruscio

I’ve been told that when someone at the commission does something right I should note it in the blog And special counsel Ralph is that person As an aside I ran into a lobbyist at a recent Valleycat’s game who told me to keep “breaking it off in Ralphs a**” (I guess special counsel Ralph has quite the fan club)

So in an effort to have the blog be fair and unbiased (it really isn’t) I want to congratulate the special counsel on his horse’s victory today at Finger Lakes No wonder the special counsel has been out so much lately he’s turned into the horse whisperer I wonder if the special counsel is using his status as a horse owner to obtain any privileges up at the summer place to be perhaps special parking or access to box seats Remember NYRA is a lobbyist and you are a special public official Ralph I’d hate to see the star chamber do to you what they just did to the governor

Anyway congrats again Ralph I know how proud you must be Now lets see if you can muster the same passion to finish the Abruzzesse investigation (its been three years) and answer my question of DID THE COMMISSION CHANGE THE WAY IT DETERMINES DUE DATES (its been 11 days)

Oh who’s Coach Fruscio you ask? That’s Ralph’s horse


I was thinking over the weekend about why I still haven’t gotten an answer from Mike the chair to the question of DID THE COMMISSION CHANGE THE WAY IT DETERMINES DUE DATES

And that led me to the process I’ve always used to figure these ethical riddles out Be it Trump and his casino ads or Philip Morris and their gifts to public officials or the Yankees and their tickets to electeds (including former Manhattan DA Morgenthau) And it all comes down to the same thing you know some facts, they tell you some other facts, you get a gut feeling, you follow that gut feeling until you learn the truth (is it a lie when they don’t tell you all the facts?) Then you deal with it

When it comes to the question I asked at the last commission meeting DID THE COMMISSION CHANGE THE WAY IT DETERMINES DUE DATES here are the facts I know

1. The commission used to count to 15 starting at 0 not 1 (today is 0 tomorrow is 1)
2. The commission used to take the latest date possible from an authorization or contract to start counting to 15
3. At some point special counsel Ralph changed point 1 above to start at 1 (reducing the number of days you have to register to 14)
4. At some point special counsel Ralph changed point 2 above to take the earliest date possible from an authorization or contract to start counting to 15
5. The result of special counsel Ralph’s changes were a lot of folks having to pay late fees that were not legitimate (give a child a gun they are going to pull the trigger)
6. People both inside and outside the commission tried to tell the special counsel he was making a mistake (anyone who has delt with Ralph knows what that feels like)
7. special counsel Ralph is seldom correct but never in doubt (and the more wrong he is the louder he gets)
8. Several of my clients got what I believed were illegitimate late fees (bastard late fees)
9. I wrote a letter to special counsel Ralph pointing out why he is wrong on the calculation and legitimacy of late fees
10. I got a letter back from Christina not Ralph saying they are counting to 15 starting at 0 now
11. Christina was trained to document anything special counsel Ralph told her regarding programs because the special counsel changes his mind a lot
12. I asked my question of DID THE COMMISSION CHANGE THE WAY IT DETERMINES DUE DATES and Mike the chair still hasn’t answered it’s now been 10 days

Now here’s what my gut tells me

Ralph never reviewed the late fee letters that were prepared by Brooke he just signed them (probably the most productive thing he did that week)

When he got my letter he asked Christina to review the file

Christina explained points 1 thru 5 above to the special counsel for the 100th time

The special counsel made Christina write me the letter noted in point 10 above

Christina documented special counsel Ralphs most recent position on points 1 thru 5 above and sent an email to the program staff so they could change how they calculate due dates (I hope she copied the special counsel and Patrick the starfish aka Barry Ginsberg)

If any of those folks want to send me a copy of that email please do so anonymously Once I have it I won’t need Mike the chairs answer but the Inspector General might

You see at the end of the day you go with your gut because that’s more trustworthy than what others don’t tell you

And my gut tells me the public integrity commission can’t be trusted

Thursday, August 19, 2010


There was a new face at the Star Chamber hearing prosecuting the governor Some guy named Jeff Schlanger

The hearing officer even remarked that she had never seen him before

Was he a new employee of the public integrity commission? Nope

Was he a member of the Attorney Generals staff on loan to the commission? Nope

Was he part of Judge Kaye’s staff there to assure continuity in the parallel investigations into the governor? Nope

Then he must be a lawyer hired by the commission due to a conflict issue after a procurement that followed all the procedures for a state agency obtaining outside counsel? Nope

Well then who was he what was he doing representing the commission and under what authority was he acting?

I’ll answer what I can as to the rest the only answer anyone seems to cite is he was doing it probono so it’s ok

Jeff Schlanger is the head of Keypoint Government Solutions a Colorado company that used to be part of Kroll the same company that Mike the chair used to run

That explains how Jeff got there He’s a buddy of Mike the chair He’s also the treasurer of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s campaign committee and served on Mr. Vance’s transition team with Mike the chair and former commissioner Dan Alonso

Now why was he there?

Was there a conflict issue for the commission staff? If so its not been made public

Does the commission lack the talent or resources to handle this type of investigation? You know my opinion about the talent but resources? They used commission counsel to do the depositions and present part of the case in the star chamber and I saw at least two other commission lawyers in the audience watching the proceedings including top dog Barry Ginsberg so it can’t be that their aren’t enough bodies to do the case

The better question is where does Jeff’s authority come from? Was there a commission vote authorizing the retention of outside counsel? An RFP or RFQ process? Or did Mike the chair just take it upon himself to ask his buddy to help and don’t you dare ask us why after all he did it probono we should thank him for his generosity.

Here’s why it’s important to know the who why and how

Jeff is in a very sensitive position acting as a defacto employee of the commission He doesn’t fill out a financial disclosure form like other commission attorneys who are state employees do He doesn’t have to disclose his other clients or partners so we have no way of knowing if he has a conflict or the appearance of impropriety More importantly if he does something inappropriate like leaking information to potential parties or witnesses (it’s happened before in this commission) does the Inspector General have jurisdiction over his actions? Does the commission have jurisdiction? Is he or his firm subject to the two year revolving door or lifetime bar as a state employee would be?

I know he did it for free but when you get a haircut for free you really can’t complain when others say it looks like you got a free haircut

As an aside its day 7 and you still haven’t answered the simple question of DID THE COMMISSION CHANGE THE WAY IT DETERMINES DUE DATES

Time to investigate if individual commissioners have personal liability for the actions of the commission

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Before I address Mike the chair’s continuing failure to give an answer to the simple question of DID THE COMMISSION CHANGE THE WAY IT CALCULATES DUE DATES (heard from some readers that I wasn’t clear on who Mike is – he’s commission chairman Michael Cherkasky known on this blog as Mike the chair) I want to commend the head of education Dick for sending me an email about how hard he is working

It appears Dick is the only employee willing to give a straight answer nowadays. Here’s what happened I spoke with one of my former hires Howard about the lifetime bar and special counsel Ralph’s clearly retaliatory interpretation of it I thought since Howard has been teaching training sessions for a while I would ask him to teach me and a few of my friends in the media about the lifetime bar – surely he would know how special counsel Ralph found this imaginary application of the bar Howard said they do schedule small training sessions and he would find out when it could be done By the way since I know how busy Howard is and his previous issues with the application of manlaw I thought this especially gracious of him I didn’t hear back from Howard instead I got an email from Dick who had a mouthful of information to spit out It goes as follows:

Point 1 they don’t have any training scheduled on lifetime bars and since one of the trainers is out for an extended period of time they can’t say when any training will be scheduled TRANSLATION You are on your own like every other former state worker and you don’t actually expect us to do any work do you

Point 2 Read what’s available on our website TRANSLATION we where just kidding when we say on our website that you should contact us to answer your questions

Point 3 The commission is preparing an opinion for me on Ralphs retaliatory lifetime bar threat TRANSLATION in case the other jesters are afraid to tell you we think Ralph is doing god’s work This one is interesting because I asked Mike the chair for a formal commission opinion only if he thought Ralph’s threat had any merit Mike still hasn’t responded to me so how does Dick know Hmmm

Point 4 You got training along with the rest of the lobby commission in 2007 and nothing has changed since that training TRANSLATION stop bugging us

While Dick had the time to send the email its clear that the training unit isn’t doing any real work so lets save the state some more money and downsize Dick and the rest of this unit I figure that’s worth at least $400K between the auditors and Dicks staff I’ve saved the state over $550000

And for the record its day 6 and still no answer from Mike the chair If no one at the commission will tell you the answer Mike are you really in charge You are way too smart not to see how this is going to turn out



To quote your executive director you should be setting an example for the rest of the State unfortunately the example is one we have seen repeatedly from your commission and it’s an embarrassment

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I just got back from the commission’s star chamber hearing on the governor’s Yankee ticket problems Although I’m not sure how it’s the governor’s problem you see I didn’t hear one piece of evidence that the governor solicited the tickets just a lot of hearsay that had no business being admitted but your lawyers don’t show and it’s déjà dopp all over again

I counted no fewer than 10 commission jesters oops employees in the room including the guy dressed like an undertaker and manning the door Did the state taxpayers really need to pay Scott Clark to wear his wedding suit and stand guard at the door? Who was he guarding it from the folks that stole the chairs last week? Chairs which by the way were back in their rightful locations in the reception area Anyway with all those folks in the star chamber if Mike had tried calling today to get an answer to my question all he was getting was voice mail

Let’s look at Mike’s call log for today:

Call Ralph – he’s out today (and with the track dark that’s strange) he will be in next Tuesday though before taking Wednesday Thursday and Friday off next week

Call Barry - nope he’s watching the hearing but you better leave a message because he leaves on a one week vacation shortly

Call Deb the commission’s secretary – nope she’s watching the hearing

Call the other special counsel Terri (my bet on the jester that actually planned the great chair heist) - nope she’s watching the hearing too

Well since I probably have a better idea than Mike about who actually knows the answer to my question and not to make mountains out of mole hills but I would call Christina You know her Mike she’s the program supervisor who took over both supervisor jobs last year when the other supervisor quit

Christina knows the answer just ask her

Monday, August 16, 2010


Well it’s day 4 and still no answer from the king his court or the court jesters Give them time you say last time when the question involved one of their own they sent me an answer in ONE day Of course they where clearing him from wrong doing no need to actually check the facts then BY THE WAY I still haven’t heard a response to my request to investigate Barry Ginsberg for sending me a legal opinion of the commission based on facts he never bothered to establish while at the same time letting the target of my question know of his opinion - shades of Teitelbaum leaking to the target of an investigation I won’t hold my breath waiting for the king and his court to look into Patrick the starfish’s activity on that one

Anyway in the hope that the reason I haven’t received an answer this time is because the chair or ottoman or whatever title they insist upon nowadays – its Michael as far as I’m concerned – doesn’t know let me assist you Michael by providing written instructions on how to get an answer to the question of DID THE COMMISSION CHANGE THE WAY IT CALCULATES DUE DATES

Step 1 pick up phone
Step 2 dial special counsels Ralphs number – do it on a Tuesday the track is dark then
Step 3 ask him

Hope that helps

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Casey Seiler of the Times Union has a column in today about our shared experience with the Public Integrity Commission. He does a far better job than I did in “LET THEM EAT CAKE” posted below, at capturing the texture of the moment, (notice the commas Casey) and uses better punctuation than I do (in fact I’m thinking of writing the blog in the future sans punctuation as kind of a signature style) But at the end of the column he states that I was grinning like a schoolboy and he was correct so now let me explain why

Anyone that has ever played chess knows that feeling the moment your opponent makes a move and you know for certain that checkmate is the only possible outcome Well that’s what happened when commission chair Mike Cherkasky said that he would answer my question You see it was a simple question requiring a yes or a no answer Either answer has very serious ramifications for the king and the court jesters Putting aside for the moment that the chairman could not answer the simplest of questions lets give Mike the benefit of the doubt and assume any question I asked was getting that “perfunctory brush-off” as Casey Seiler wrote

If the answer is yes the jesters have changed how they calculate due dates since the last batch of late fees then they are going to have to go back and review every single one to see if it was valid or if a refund is in order Big job for a bunch of shall we say less than ambitious jesters especially during track season (a special place in August for the special counsel) Doing all that work is not nearly as easy as moving chairs into locked rooms and having lunch delivered Plus they’ve got to admit I caught them trying to mislead the lobbying community In addition it will further establish that the special counsel was retaliating against me when he threatened me with a lifetime bar violation – if he changed “the program” he’s the one with a lifetime bar issue as he well knows to go along with what might very well be some official misconduct issues violation of my free speech rights and who knows how many Public Officer Law violations Come to think of it I never got an answer to the question of was Ralph authorized by his boss to threaten me the more the merrier

If the answer is no . . . well lets just say the first thing you learn in law school is don’t ask a question you don’t know the answer to I KNOW THE ANSWER The second thing you learn is in your official position tell the truth because someone always has the documents to prove if you are lying DON”T SAY I DIDN”T WARN YOU


Now how long will the King and the court jesters take to answer the question I’d set an over/under but that wouldn’t be fair I may have inside info So lets just keep track it’s day 3 and the king hasn’t answered the simplest question yet

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What comes after an ethical lynching? A rigged trial of course!

Anyone else going to the David Patterson - Yankee ticket hearing Tuesday at the PIC? I’ll be there with my box of popcorn, there is nothing I like more than watching a good show trial after the defendant has been ethically lynched.

What ever happened to waiting and deferring to Judge Kaye’s investigation to be completed before moving ahead with a hearing? My guess is the King and his court jesters read the first Kaye report and decided they could not afford to wait. After all if Judge Kaye were to report that no violation occurred the court jesters might be forced to explain why they ethically lynched the governor back in February.

Be that as it may I had a thought for Ted Wells, the gov’s counsel in this matter (and another reason I’m going Tuesday is to watch Mr. Wells dissect the jesters in front of an audience.) And Mr. Wells is far more talented and experienced than I could ever hope to be but I may know a fact or two about these clowns that he doesn’t. Here’s the thought I had, over a year ago special counsel Ralph issued a late fee to a lobbyist based on the fact that the lobbyist received a check from a client dated over 15 days prior to the lobbyist’s registration. (There are those dang due dates and late fees again Ralph, I did warn you). Now special counsel Ralph was told that the check was not deposited till some later date (a fact he should have known if he turned the check over and looked at the deposit date stamped on the back of the check by the bank) but special counsel Ralph said it doesn’t matter the date written on the front is what the court jesters use to determine when the lobbyist was paid. I don’t know where, when or how special counsel Ralph came up with this legal conclusion but he did and he collected his late fee based upon it. But wouldn’t it be special for Mr. Wells to call special counsel Ralph as an expert witness to testify about how the king and the court jesters determine when an item is paid for by using the date WRITTEN on the check. Based on that legal analysis I gotta believe special counsel Ralph would testify under oath that the gov paid for those Yankee tickets on the day of the date written on the check no matter when it was written.

As I said I’m sure Mr. Wells will cut the jesters case to pieces without my assistance, I just needed to remind the special counsel that consistency is a virtue, one he appears to lack!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Just got back from the Public Integrity Commission’s meeting. I’ve got enough material to do 3 or 4 blog posts just from that one meeting. But since Casey from the TU was there and subjected to the same conditions as the rest of those attending the meeting I wanted to beat him to the post. This being part of the media is turning into an addiction but it did have a bright side and some perks as you will read below.

OK the public part of the meeting lasts about 20 minutes and nothing of much interest is discussed. Then comes the executive session when those of us in the general public and the media have to leave the room (I haven’t decided at this point which group I’m in, public or media). Out to the reception area we go where lo and behold all the furniture is gone. No chairs to sit in and wait. Hmmm could the budget crisis be that bad that the PIC sold their furniture? Oh well we will all just go sit in one of the two conference rooms out front plenty of chairs in there. But no the doors are locked. Must be a lot of sensitive documents related to all the cases the PIC is working on.

After another 30 minutes here comes a food delivery from Lunch. (A great sandwich joint around the corner) and there it goes into the conference room where the king and his court also known as the commissioners and staff must be hard at work on executive session matters. Another 30 minutes and lo and behold out strides commission flak Walter Ayers, well fed no doubt. At this point I decide I am part of the brethren of the ink and ask Walter “Hey Walter can you open the rooms so the press can sit down? (And the ladies that are part of the general public). Walter says “I will look into it” but miracle of miracles 5 minutes later the receptionist unlocks the door for us and we are allowed behind the magic door and what do we see?

You guessed it all the furniture from the reception area. Why would the commission lock away the furniture? Probably the same reason they have lunch during executive session in the hope that everyone leaves before the question and answer session that occurs after the meeting is adjourned.

Not only did it not work, we all hung in there till the bitter end, but I took the big comfy chair. To make up for it, next meeting anyone that waits in the furniture less reception area while the royalty has lunch will be treated by me to our own lunch Jeff Spicoli style. Just let me know what you want on the pizza I’m going to have delivered to the reception area, bring a blanket and a folding chair we will have a picnic.


We’ve all heard about the State budget crisis and the need for belt tightening and doing more with less. And we all know how annoying and time consuming those PIC audits can be. I’ve got a solution.
Just tell the PIC auditor, Mike, Amy or Maria that you are too busy to be audited. Saves you time and if those three have no one to audit they become superfluous and the PIC can let a couple of them go should save the state about $150k annually.
But wait, what will the PIC and its special counsel do to you? Surely there must be late fees or fines that can be imposed if you just tell them you’re too busy to be audited right now?
Nope and before the special counsel sends me another letter threatening me with the lifetime bar because I was executive director when the audit provisions where enacted into law I learned this information when the special counsel discussed proposed legislation at a commission meeting and pointed out that there is no penalty for failing to cooperate with an audit.
Now don’t let me talk you into frustrating the commission, if you’ve got the time and don’t mind being audited give them everything they ask for BUT if you don’t like the audit process or you just want to save the state some money by eliminating the auditors ask them what the penalty is if you decline to be audited. Then decide.

Monday, August 9, 2010


You know the blog is working when the Public Integrity Commission’s crack “special counsel” sends you a letter like Ralph Miccio sent me last week. By the way what makes a “special counsel” special? Those of us who have known and worked with Ralph know he is special without the title. But I digress, back to the letter.

After writing on this blog regarding my concerns that the commission did not know how to count to 15, I got a nice letter (not from special counsel Ralph) informing me that the commission now takes the position that “late fees are to be calculated beginning on the first day after a filing is due”. While it’s nice to know that the blog was right and I'm pleased that they now will be counting to 15 properly how many folks who got late fees because of this error have been notified of the correction and had their late fee revoked? Better be all of them or someone should be held accountable.

Now to the special counsels letter, in response to my inquiries on behalf of a client who got a late fee for an amended registration, Ralph refused to provide me any documents related to the calculation of late fees and/or due dates. Typical of this bunch they don't want anyone to know what they are doing or why. If you made as many mistakes as they did you wouldn't want anyone to see your emails either. He also failed to point out the specific section of the Lobby Act that authorized late fees for registration amendments. No surprise there as I've said on the blog it doesn't exist. But then special counsel Ralph concluded by threatening me with a potential violation of the lifetime bar if I continued to represent clients who challenged the statutory authority of the commission to impose late fees on registration amendments. Me thinks the lady doth protest too much.

How does the special counsel come up with a lifetime bar violation for an attorney representing a client who received a late fee over 2 ½ years after I left office? According to the special counsel it’s because I was Executive Director of the Lobby Commission when the law was amended to authorize late fees on registrations (not registration amendments by the way). I guess the special counsel forgot that the legislature and the governor pass legislation not the Executive Director. The special counsel might want to consider the ramifications of his extremely expansive view of the lifetime bar. And in case he can't bring himself to do that I've asked the Public Integrity Commission’s Chairman Michael Cherkasky to help by providing a formal opinion on the issue so that all of us former state workers can see what the rules really are. Under the special counsel’s interpretation I'm not sure former Governor Spitzer could comment on CNN about the application of any law or program that was created while he was governor. Hmmm maybe Ralph is onto something.

The special counsel’s approach would be funny, remember I've known him to be special for a long time, were it not for the fact that I believe he is using his official position to retaliate for things I have said on this blog and other media about how truly special this commission and it’s staff are.

If the special counsel is retaliating now what’s he going to do when I blog about the fact that no one needs to cooperate with commission audits (the next blog I promise) and I start looking into if NYRA provides any special benefits to thoroughbred horse owners who are state employees. Potential gift ban violations always make for special blog entries.

I almost forgot the commission has a meeting in Albany Thursday morning, wouldn't it be special if I got to ask some of these questions regarding the special counsel and his antics at that meeting. Come on down to 540 Broadway and see for yourself how special this bunch truly is.