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Friday, April 25, 2008

Another NY Lawyer Gets Pension Pulled

DiNapoli pulls another lawyer's pension
Private attorney was getting $106,700-a-year benefit
The Albany Times Union by JAMES M. ODATO, Capitol bureau - April 25, 2008

ALBANY -- Another Long Island lawyer had his state pension plans altered by Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. DiNapoli said this morning that hes suspended the $106,700 annual payout to Albert DAgostino. The action is part of DiNapolis on-going review of the records of every attorney in the Common Retirement System. DAgostino had received pension service credit for work with Nassau County, Lawrence Union Free School District, Valley Stream Union Free School District, North Merrick Union Free School District, the Town of Hempstead and the Village of Valley Stream. DAgostino retired in October 2000.

DiNapoli and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo are investigating how lawyers and other professionals who are not government employees, but work under contract, have gotten into the public pension system via loopholes or fraud. Last month, DiNapolis office suspended the $61,459 annual pension of Lawrence Reich after an audit by DiNapolis office found five school districts inappropriately reported Reich as an employee. Four lawyers from the Albany firm of Girvin and Ferlazzo were also removed from the pension system, while a fifth lost partial retirement credit, after DiNapoli concluded they were improperly listed as BOCES employees for the purposes of getting the retirement benefit.


Anonymous said...

from the new york post:

By DAVID SEIFMAN City Hall Bureau Chief

April 25, 2008 -- The Bloomberg administration's top lawyer has authorized the City Council to hire private attorneys to represent legislators and staffers who might be dragged into the investigation of phantom funds, the mayor said yesterday.

"It is the city's policy that we provide legal representation for employees of the city, and that would include elected officials, either by giving them services provided by the Corporation Counsel's Office or by hiring outside legal counsel up until there is some evidence that they have done something illegal," Mayor Bloomberg explained.
Council Speaker Christine Quinn has already hired two sets of lawyers - the firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, at $95,000, for the entire legislative body, and Lee Richards, at $600 an hour, as her attorney - amid the investigation into how the council allocated $17 million in funds since 2002 for so-called member items.

One official said Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo routinely approves the hiring of private lawyers in cases where there might be a conflict of interest if the city provided the lawyers or when the city doesn't have the expertise to handle a case.
In most cases, Bloomberg said, Cardozo "would look to see whether the rates are appropriate."
Civic watchdog Henry Stern, a former councilman, agreed with the mayor that it was appropriate for the city to pay the legal fees of officials who have done nothing illegal. But he also said there were gray areas, such as when an elected official directs funds for purposes that might be questionable - say, to a relative's nonprofit - but not illegal.

Anonymous said...

yes, the scam is abusing loopholes, and it's done by a$$holes, a/k/a dirty lawyers, who else. remember, it was judge gross who advised that he knew which which laws to break. boy, what a mess.

Anonymous said...

it is usless unless they get the money back and put them in jail.
look probably all he will get is a slap on the wrist. that is why they do it.

Anonymous said...

right on DiNapoli, good for you! I personally have absolutely no use for the lawyer snakes, I've seen their act more than onec. Disbar them all, no one would care except their girl freinds

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