North Shore firms fined for role in Skelos, Silver cases

North Shore firms fined for role in Skelos, Silver cases
Glenwood Management is headquartered at this building on Union Turnpike in New Hyde Park. (Photo from Google Maps)

A state ethics commission last Wednesday censured two North Shore companies that admitted they illegally lobbied Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos, the former state legislative leaders convicted on corruption charges last year.

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics fined Glenwood Management, a New Hyde Park-based real estate firm, and Administrators for the Professions, a company affiliated with Roslyn-based Physicians Reciprocal Insurance, for failing to disclose lobbying activities with Silver, the former Democratic Assembly speaker, and providing jobs for Adam Skelos, the son of the former Republican Senate majority leader.

Under settlement agreements with the commission, Glenwood was fined $200,000, Administrators for the Professions was fined $70,000 and both firms acknowledged they used gifts to stay in the good graces of the state’s most powerful legislators, whose immense political influence could help or hurt the businesses.

“The lawmakers who sought to use their official positions to secure unwarranted privileges have already been punished; the clients of lobbyists who facilitated these acts and provided those public officers with such special benefits are now facing the consequences of their actions,” Seth H. Agata, the commission’s executive director, said in a statement Thursday.

Glenwood’s and Administrators for the Professions’ businesses depend on state real estate and medical malpractice insurance policy, respectively.

The two companies played central roles in the federal trials against Silver and Skelos, who were both convicted in 2015, along with Skelos’ son, Adam. All three are appealing their multiyear prison sentences.

The commission reached the agreements with the cooperation of the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, which prosecuted Silver and Skelos.

Attorneys for Glenwood and Gerald Dolman, president of Administrators for the Professions, did not return phone calls seeking further comment.

Glenwood, a major New York City real estate developer based at 1200 Union Turnpike in New Hyde Park, failed to disclose meetings with Dean Skelos on its annual state lobbying reports and acknowledged to the ethics commission that it got Adam Skelos a consulting job with an environmental technology company, according to the settlement.

It was revealed in the Skeloses’ trial that Adam Skelos used that position to get such a company, AbTech Industries, a $12 million Nassau County contract.

Glenwood also employed, at Silver’s request, a property tax appeal law firm that paid Silver hundreds of thousands of dollars in referral fees for no actual legal work, the ethics commission said.

Administrators for the Professions, the operations arm of Physicians Reciprocal Insurance, based at 1800 Northern Blvd. in Roslyn, admitted it gave Adam Skelos a no-show job paying $75,000 a year with health benefits as it lobbied Dean Skelos, the company’s settlement says.

The firm kept Adam Skelos on as a $3,000-a-month consultant even after company officials told his father he was doing no work, the agreement says.

During the Skeloses’ trial, Chris Curcio, Adam Skelos’ boss at Physicians Reciprocal, reportedly testified that when he confronted Skelos about his absence from the job, Skelos said, “Guys like you couldn’t shine my shoes. You’ll never amount to anything … And if you ever talk to me like that again, I’ll smash your [expletive] head in.”

Glenwood’s $200,000 fine is paltry compared to the amount the firm spends on lobbying and political contributions.

The firm, its subsidiary limited-liability companies and Leonard Litwin, its principal, have given millions of dollars to statewide candidates from both parties.

Glenwood spent more than $839,000 between January 2015 and July 2016, according to disclosure reports filed with the ethics commission.

Administrators for the Professions spent $103,000 on lobbying in that same period.

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