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Sunday, April 19, 2009

New York State: The Kickback Capital

BOOZE BIGS ARE AWASH IN SCANDAL
The New York Post by ANGELA MONTEFINISE and SUSAN EDELMAN - April 19, 2009

A licensing chief for the State Liquor Authority allegedly handled applications submitted by his own nephew, and they jointly gave gift cards -- including $300 for a swanky steakhouse -- to staff at the agency's Harlem office. Now the two are the focus of an investigation into bribery at the booze-regulating agency, according to documents obtained by The Post. Deputy Commissioner for Licensing Fred Gioffre, who sources said was forced to retire in 2007, is being probed along with nephew Bruno Gioffre Jr., a White Plains lawyer who represents liquor-selling establishments. The two allegedly gave city licensing head Dana Christian a $300 gift certificate to Sparks Steak House and city licensing board member Ken Sussman a $200 certificate to P.F. Chang's. The questionable gifts were disclosed in two January letters from SLA lawyer Tom Donohue to the state Inspector General's Office, which with the Manhattan DA is investigating the SLA.

The two agencies this month raided the authority's Harlem office, which processes liquor licenses for establishments in the city, Westchester and Long Island. "Agency staff has been advised that they cannot accept anything more than an occasional cup of coffee [from] individuals who represent applicants and licensees," Donohue wrote in one of the letters. In addition to the Gioffres' presents, two $50 Macy's gift cards and three $50 Gap gift cards were given to staff members of the licensing bureau in Harlem by Marti & Associates, a firm representing liquor-license applicants, according to the letters. Staffers, including Luz Miranda, whose home was searched by investigators two weeks ago, turned the cards over to Christian, who gave them to Donohue. "The people in the Harlem office did exactly what they were supposed to do," said an SLA official. "Bribery was not rampant in that office. They're just taking the fall." SLA records show that Bruno Gioffre has represented 64 liquor-selling establishments since 2000. Nearly a quarter of those applications got speedy approvals in less than three months. The typical wait is six to eight months. Stephen Turano, a lawyer for Bruno, denied any wrongdoing, "Every single one of the applications he handled has been submitted appropriately," Turano said. Marti & Associates could not be reached for comment. angela.montefinise@nypost.com

17 comments:

hiding in hartsdale said...

You should qualify your heading to read: WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK: THE KICKBACK CAPTIAL.... White Plains is where all the corruption starts. It's a power thing, sort of a tradition, with ties directly to the mob, or what's left of them. (In fairness, organized crime would never let the greed get as disorganized as it is today- This is just another screw up by the corrupt Chief Administrative Judge Frank "cash is good" Nicolai)

The Gioffre clan have been players for a long time, working mostly behind the scenes. I hope investigators keep digging deeper because they'll find connections that could bring down 75% of the lawyers from the 9th Judicial District.

I checked OCA records and found two Gioffre lawyers. I find it quite humorous that Bruno Vincent Gioffre has his office at 399 Knollwood Road in White Plains..... The very same building where the 9th JD ethics committee is located. I love it. As everyone knows, this "ethics" committee, beautifully mismanaged and run (into the ethics ground) by Gary Casella is available for rent for a stack of hundreds.

OCA website:

2980456
BRUNO VINCENT GIOFFRE
QUINN & MELLEA, LLP
399 KNOLLWOOD RD STE 220
WHITE PLAINS, NY 10603-1937
United States
(914) 997-0555

Year Admitted in NY: 1999
Appellate Division Department of Admission: 2
Law School: PACE UNIVERSITY
Registration Status: Currently registered
Next Registration: Dec 2009

and

Registration Number: 1399096

BRUNO J. GIOFFRE
GIOFFRE GIOFFRE PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
2900 WESTCHESTER AVE STE 206
PURCHASE, NY 10577-2551
United States
(914) 696-3800

Year Admitted in NY: 1958
Appellate Division Department of Admission: 2
Law School: CORNELL
Registration Status: Currently registered
Next Registration: Jun 2010

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of clowns from a corrupt 3 ring circus. All of the players just running around looking for money, nothing else. Gioffre's lawyer is Stephen Turano. Turano is partners with Joe Tacopina. Tacopina used to represent Bernard Kerik before he sold him out to the feds.

Retired Fed said...

CORRUPTION CENTRAL WHITE PLAINS AND WHAT HAS BEEN DONE ABOUT IT - NOTHING, NOTHING & NOTHING! NOTHING WILL BE DONE EITHER BECAUSE THE FIX IS IN!

Anonymous said...

Not being from NYC or downstate..what is the fix that... is in...explain who the fixers and closers are....please!

retired albany attorney said...

Kickback and pay-to-play. It all comes down to one thing and one thing only: power and money to members of the legal profession. It has nothing ethics or interest in any law.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the PAFV (payment in Anticipation of Future Favor)

This scam comes nicely into play when a judge improperly awards something related to money (guardianship, fees, etc.) knowing that in the future the judge will get the favor back (usually a job for someone, and that just might be end up being him/her self!)

What a system. What a CORRUPT system.

tax paying citizen said...

The United States Federal Government needs to take over the New York State Court System to clean out the widespread corruption. It's the only way.

Anonymous said...

No Justice, No Faith...this is jsut the tip of one of many icebergs

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Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:


               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
         
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2