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Monday, January 4, 2010

NY POST: Sampson Playing a Law-Firm Shel Game

Sampson playing a law-firm Shel game
The New York Post by BRENDAN SCOTT - January 4, 2010

ALBANY, NY -- Move over, Sheldon Silver! Senate boss John Sampson has borrowed a page from the powerful Assembly speaker and become the second big-time Democrat to join a law firm with ties to the state's powerful trial-lawyers lobby, The Post has learned. Sampson, the state Senate Democratic leader, quietly accepted a job last month as "counsel" to Belluck & Fox, a politically connected Manhattan law firm that specializes in asbestos litigation and that claims to have won $220 million in judgments. The new gig, which comes just six months after Senate Democrats elected Sampson to run the legislative chamber, bears striking similarity to the oft-criticized side job held by Silver (D-Manhattan). Like Silver, Sampson won't say how much his job pays. And, as is the case with Silver's firm, Weitz & Luxenberg, a founding partner of Sampson's firm, Joseph W. Belluck, sits on the board of the state Trial Lawyers Association. The potent advocacy group spends about $2 million a year on campaign contributions and lobbying expenses. Silver has repeatedly come under fire for aiding its decades-long winning streak in the Assembly. The group's new ties to the Senate leader are sure to draw similar concern, especially from those who back reforming the state's medical-malpractice laws. "The trial lawyers are now covered in both houses," one veteran Capitol lobbyist said. "They have Shelly in one prominent firm, and they have the Senate leader in another firm that has a seat on their board of directors." "You can't do any better than that that." Sampson controls day-to-day decisions in the Senate in addition to leading its Judiciary and Ethics committees. The "part-time" Brooklyn lawmaker earns $88,500 annually, including a $9,000 leadership stipend. Sampson spokesman Austin Shafran refused to disclose the senator's outside income, but insisted the job would not compromise his official duties. "Senator Sampson's outside work has never been and never will be in conflict with his official duties," Shafran said. The career move comes as Democratic lawmakers negotiate ethics-reform legislation in response to several recent embarrassments, including the corruption conviction of former Republican Senate leader Joseph Bruno. During Bruno's trial, an Albany businessman testified that he started paying Bruno consulting fees after the senator complained about the money Silver was getting "from the trial lawyers." Bruno denied the remark. brendan.scott@nypost.com

20 comments:

sick. tell me it ain't so, John Sampson said...

I'm sick from reading this article. Hey, John Sampson, what do YOU have to say about this. I had so much faith in you, that you would be the leader we were all waiting for, a person who would make real change happen. I'm sick to my stomach over this. I have a thought: take your money from that law firm, but still do the right thing: make judges and lawyers accountable for their actions!

Anonymous said...

If Samspon actually intended to do anything, he certainly could/should have done it last year.

In his position he didn't even need hearings, the information was always available to him.

This is just like all the hearings the "Matrimonial Commission" did a couple of years ago. They hold all these hearing, produce a report, and then just ignore the problems.

Nothing is going to change while these bums are in office.

Anonymous said...

Say it isn't so Sampson! Oh say it isn't so! You appear to have sold out on the cheap?

Anonymous said...

Those hearings were only to get Sampson more $$$ for himself
That really should be illegal that he has an outside job.
It should be under disclosure laws or tax laws he should have to tell N.Yers what he is getting paid.
He is an elected official. Let N.yers decide not to vote for him if they think the money is buying influence. It should also include his orginzations and associations.
I would not be surprised if he does not hold any more hearings.
He has the money

Anonymous said...

Sampson...

Explain how this does not represent a conflict, or you will be remembered as the most despised and corrupt Senator in New York's history.

What flagrant contempt for the institution of the Senate and the people of New York!

I hope your expensive new suit feels good, John, but you can't wear it in prison, or in hell, where you end up if you don't use your power to serve the people.

Shame on you, your parents, and the seven generations of your progeny who will be cursed by your degeneracy.

You bring new meaning and shame to the term "House Nigger". You are an embarrassment us all, you pathetic boy-whore. You're name will forever be despised.

SHAME!

will galison said...

LETTER TO MIKE BARNICLE

(Please post)


Mike,

I am involved with a growing grass-roots movement of victims of judicial corruption in New York State.

Our membership includes sitting Supreme Court judges, state employee insiders, attorneys, cops, and citizens from every strata of New York's population.

As a result of judicial corruption, some of us have lost our savings, livelihoods, reputations, homes, and most tragically, our children. Some have been jailed or assaulted, and all have been denied our most fundamental constitutional rights. Our stories would be unbelievable of they were not impeccably documented.

We have petitioned the police, the DA, the AG, the FBI, our state and national representatives and all of the institutions mandated to curb corruption of judges and lawyers.

We have cried out to the New York Times, the Post, the News, The Voice, 60 Minutes, and every other media outlet we could find. The press is either complicit in the corruption or too scared to address this horrific situation.

Tom Robbins told me bluntly, "I can't touch that subject, I'm sorry".

NOTHING has been done by any of these institutions, created and maintained to protect our rights. We have been ignored and ridiculed, intimidated and threatened. We are sliding towards a state of judicial tyranny.

We have instigated two public hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, all of which were attended by hundreds of people, some of whom flew across the country to attend.

These hearings can be seen at:

http://www.livestream.com/nysenate/video?clipId=pla_cce9d795-b7f2-4996-8fbd-a4c848aba2bd

and at the blog

http://exposecorruptcourts.blogspot.com/

which receives thousands of hits each day.

Please review the stories of my colleagues, and consider their credentials, credibility, and conviction.

The final outrage came today, when the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator John Sampson joined the most influential lobbying agent of the new York Bar, the lawfirm Belluck & Fox.

Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse!

We appeal to you to prove that you are the person you appear to be, a speaker of truth to power, and a voice for the disenfranchised.

Our affiliation represents a tiny fraction of the victims of judicial abuses in New York and nationwide. Virtually every American can recite a horror story of blatant corruption by lawyers and judges that they or a friend has experienced first hand.

Will you help us?

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Best,


Will Galison
917 517 7344

Eliot Ivan Bernstein said...

Go Senator Sampson, love the chutzpah!!! This brings much needed light to this illegal debauchery of law and politics, Bruno served you well as a sounding board to the fact that NY finally is waking up to how this grafting works.
As Judiciary Committee Chair, please have the committee investigate this hidden fee practice and FORCE all lawmakers, politicians, judges, etc. to expose every single dollar they get and from whom. They should also be forced to affirm and oath that they have no conflicts with any of the groups or groups they represent or law firm cases, etc. Nothing to hide, bring it into the light.
Your friend,
Eliot Bernstein

Anonymous said...

A re-post from yesterday from the Hudson Valley Region on Senator Sampson:

Anonymous said...
how about the news that Senator Sampson who currently Chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee has pulled a Speaker Silver move according to the NY Post and refuses to disclose the Fees Earned by his new Manhattan politically connected law firm with a Partner on the Board of the NYS Trial Lawyers Association?

Senator Sampson will have ZERO Credibility as Senate Judiciary Committee Chair UNTIl FULL Disclosure of the FEES and the arrangement.

As Judiciary Chair he is in direct position charged with overseeing the Courts and Discipline Committees that regulate Lawyers and Judges and now has a Private arrangement with one of the most powerful Lobbying groups in the State that is made up of the same Class of members that his Committee is supposed to Oversee and Regulate?

How is this any different than the Commissioner of the State DEC which oversees Solid Waste regulation in the State taking UNDISCLOSED FEES from Waste Management and BFI but telling everyone this is ok for him to regulate everyone else in the industry?

Respectfully, Senator Sampson's refusal to see this as catastrophic to ANY hope for Ethics Reform in Albany and around the state is sad and unfortunate and much more.

link to NY Post article:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/sampson_playing_law_firm_shel_game_6WnR9nbadkhH0KEdxDf7nL

Again, Respectfully Senator Sampson, either Withdraw as CHAIR and JUDICIARY Committee Member, or FULLY Disclose.

Then explain why the December 2009 continued hearings on the Judiciary were cancelled after stating in September the hearing would continue in October and then your Staffer saying it would be November?

Your private dealings may be private, but as Judiciary Chair in your public position, you work for the people and it is time for you to start answering to the People to restore Integrity to the Judiciary, Court, and Oversight processes in New York.

Anonymous said...

it is the campaign/lobbying/payoff money at work again, that is the real evil of our corrupt system....
the Senators get free money to harm whomever they want!
so even if their heart is good, they have to play the game to compete with the evil!
stop the campaign/lobbying/payoff
money!

Anonymous said...

I know more whites that deserve the N word, inappropriate comment!

Anonymous said...

We need a special prosecutor appointed by the governor!

Anonymous said...

We have to include to stop the campaign/lobbying money in our complaints.........
do you know how many tell me my Senator uses that money to harm others, whomever he chooses as a target!
and they use every local state and gov't agency to harm others
unless we stop that money they will teach each other how to rule their districts, with evil intent..........

Anonymous said...

How much did your soul cost, Senator Sampson? Did you get as much as Silver?

Anonymous said...

Sampson is following the policy of the white sheriff who raids the whore house, until he regularly gets paid his share of the profits. Sampson wants his cut on the action and he'll keep the heat off. Throw the bum, Bruno, out and get the same thing in a different color.

Anonymous said...

I was suspect of Sampson and the hearings from the start... a state Albany corruption senator can't and never will expose the many poor devastated people (victims only by selection of corrupt judicial actions and not by acceptance of of those actions) who have been selected by the NY STATE JUDICIAL SYSTEM to be terrorized by this justice system,all from within this country and state!

I suggest that there be a request that SAMPSON stop further hearings, we all submit documentation from the entire state, relative to our investigations or abusive treatment, and ask Sampson to submit his findings and solution...and we shall see what kind of concern he really has, had or will never have.

NO MORE PLAYING AROUND WITH NY STATE SENATORS PRETENDING TO EMBRACE ETHIC'S REFORM, ONLY TO BE FOOLED BY THESE SLICK CORRUPT PLACATERS. HE SHOULD NOT BE PROMOTED AS THE SAVIOR.

Anonymous said...

Remember what Holder did in Wilkes Barr, time to send complaints to Holder and Governor, they should all be together.......
how do we accomplish that?

hey Holder, check out Niagara County, someone is harming citizens, lawyers and judges.....
just check out the Rico allegations at the NT Walmart, why are they continuing to take them to court, make it cost the city, well Budwey is Maziarz good friend and he does not want Walmart, may harm his grocery business, so they make it cost and cost and cost the Walmart people, in and out of court for years! Who cares what is costs the city we will form a group and claim they do not want Walmart,
hey Budwey, are you giving away any of that free sausage, we hear it is great!
that behavior is the same they do to whomever is their targets!

old timer said...

John Sampson is a good man, an honest man with a good purpose for the people in mind. He's entitled to make the best living possible to provide for his family. (He is a lawyer, and the current, though dumb, law allows him to have a job as his state job is part-time)(Should he have taken the lowest paying job?!?) Before anyone judges John Sampson, let's see how the next hearing goes and, importantly, what actions Senator Sampson will take regarding corruption.

Anonymous said...

If Sampson is good and honest...then he would disclose his fees or any financial dealings that appear to may or may not be a conflict.
IT is people making excuses for these government officials that perpetuates the corruption.
No good man in government hides potential conflicts...unless they are conflicts.
Making the best salary to provide for your family does not include financial secrecy...if you are working in public office and serving the people (taxpayer)and overseeing funds!
I am an open financial book and I provide the best for my family...as an ex- state employee!

As far as Eric Holder's office's concern about this issue ...I just called them a few weeks ago, just to see how differet or indifferent they are to NY's court corruption...and the answer may surprise and tickle you.
His office(the DOJ) told me that if I wanted to SEE who would address NY'S judicial corruption, I should call.....NEIGHBORHOOD LEGAL SERVICES! And he gave me the local phone number....lol!
He obviously did not know I worked for the courts forever and am aware that they represent the poor or disadvantaged in the neighbohoods in minor civil legal matters.
He was though, made aware of the details and documents and allegations that I had and the serious nature of the material I had to support...but he thought I was a poor delusional soul, that was best served by hopping the freight train to the lowest, but well serving and deserving legal division.... thinking that I would BELEIVE that they could really expose the Amtrack of the justice system's abuse!
Forget Sampson and Holder...this cause has to be a citizen's outrage..."no one political wants to open this baggage car"...to expose the dirty, dogged monsters of the nasty and stinky black robes!

Anonymous said...

it is not always the Robes, sometimes it is the Senator promising favors to judges to harm others, they use better offices, better payoffs, consulting fees to do it...........
just make sure you harm my target!

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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