JCOPE Settles With Firms From Skelos And Silver

On Wednesday, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) announced separate agreements with Administrators for the Professions, Inc., and Glenwood Management. These two companies are the heart of the prosecution of former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, and his son, Adam. The real estate giant, Glenwood, was the state’s most generous political donor in recent years. They were also central to the federal prosecution of Sheldon Silver, former Assembly Speaker.

To settle alleged Lobbying Act violations, Glenwood will pay a $200,000 penalty, and AFP will pay a $70,000 penalty. In exchange for their testimony, executives at each company settled on non-prosecution agreements with the U.S. Attorney office for the Southern District Preet Bharara. However, these may be the heaviest sanctions on the firms.

Glenwood admits not disclosing activities related to lobbying Skelos in required reports. They also acknowledge retaining the law firm Goldberg & Iryami, which specialized in property tax litigation. JCOPE said that they would have to share a portion of the fees with Silver, who wouldn’t perform work in connection with such legal services.

Glenwood also admits recommending AbTech Industries to hire Adam Skelos as a consultant and arranged another company to pay him a referral fee. Both were to favor with the Senate leader.

Glenwood will submit the required statements and reports as part of the settlement for 2011-2014.

AFP also admits to hiring Adam Skelos per his father’s request, to what ended up as a no-show job.

According to testimony, the younger Skelos replied to his manager’s questions about when he would show up to work by threatening to beat in his skull.

The two firms will also cooperate in further investigations with JCOPE. Adam Skelos and his son were under arrest in May 2015 and were convicted a year ago. Silver was also under arrest in January 2015 and convicted in November 2015. All three remain free pending their appeal.

Seth Agata, JCOPE Executive Director, says the settlements mark a huge milestone in ethics law enforcement. The lawmakers who were hoping to use their positions to secure unjust privileges have received punishment. The clients that aided in these acts and provided public officers with special benefits are now facing the consequences of their actions.