ALBANY — A veteran Long Island state senator voted on a host of bills that benefited clients of a law firm for which he works, the Daily News has learned.
In addition to being a longtime state lawmaker who chairs the Senate Education Committee, John Flanagan (R-Suffolk County) is “of counsel” at Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo & Terrana in Uniondale, where he reported making between $100,000 and $150,000 in 2013.
A number of the clients listed on the law firm’s website have business before the state, including Cablevision, Chase Bank, and Citibank.
The firm also lists as clients different colleges, governments and other groups with matters before the state.
Government reform advocates say there is at the very least an appearance of a conflict of interest that should have led Flanagan to either recuse himself from votes impacting clients of his law firm or publicly disclose the ties.
“There should be a desire to avoid even the appearance of impropriety and undue influence,” said Susan Lerner, of Common Cause/New York.
In a number of cases, Flanagan voted in favor of bills on which public records show clients of his law firm had lobbied.
Skelos and Flanagan ought to follow Shelly Silver and get a ride downtown in a police car too.