The Albany Times Union by BRENDAN J. LYONS Senior writer - May 1, 2008
ALBANY -- James A.P. McCarthy, an attorney and former counsel to Gov. George E. Pataki, was spending time at a posh country club and working at his Albany law firm while billing the state for thousands of dollars in salary for a no-show patronage job at the Department of Correctional Services, according to a report released today by the state Inspector General.
The report recommends that McCarthy reimburse the state for pay the Inspector General found he did not earn during a three-month period when he was under investigation. He has worked in the position for years without a phone, desk or computer, according to the Inspector General.
McCarthy, 52, is the longtime Troy city school district attorney. He also is an attorney with with the Girvin & Ferlazzo law firm, where several lawyers have come under scrutiny recently in an unrelated state pension scandal being investigated by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. The Inspector General's investigation of McCarthy was triggered by an anonymous complaint in March 2007. The probe focused on McCarthy's part-time work as an ``extradition secretary'' for DOCS, a $60,867-a-year post he has held since 1995 when McCarthy was an assistant counsel to Pataki.
Investigators began following McCarthy last year while monitoring the records of his time slips and electronic swipe card access at the DOCS headquarters building at 911 Central Ave., according to the report. Over a three-month period McCarthy was paid $6,000 for time not worked. During that period he was supposedly on state time while at the exclusive Wolfert's Roost Country Club in Menands, and also doing work at a private law firm. Members of Wolfert's Roost said McCarthy is a fixture at the club and once served as president of the Board of Directors.
The Inspector General's office referred the matter to Cuomo's office for prosecution for the alleged falsification of time records. The Attorney General's office declined to take action, according to the report. The report by the Inspector General concludes by recommending that McCarthy face discipline from DOCS. "The Inspector General recommends that DOCS take appropriate disciplinary action against McCarthy and seek to recoup the thousands of dollars paid to McCarthy for work hours during which he was not present,'' the report states. McCarthy, who was an assistant counsel to the Senate Finance Committee for 10 years beginning in 1984, is the Hoosick town attorney and a former Rensselaer County assistant district attorney.