Just last week, State Senator Car Marcellino was named to replace State Senator John Flanagan on the education committee.
Tonight NBC4 reports he's under investigation:
The Nassau County District Attorney's office has opened an investigation into whether a powerful local state senator improperly billed taxpayers for nearly $20,000 in car expenses, sources close to the probe tell NBC 4 New York's I-Team.Republican Sen. Carl Marcellino of Syosset, who represents the Fifth Senate District, spent more than $20,000 of his campaign funds on automobile expenses between 2010 and 2013, according to campaign finance records.Because those expenses were paid for by his campaign, it would be against the law for him to bill taxpayers for the same expense. According to records provided to the I-Team, the state reimbursed Marcellino for $18,500 in auto expenses during the same period.The I-Team called Marcellino's office for comment several times over three days. Those calls have not been returned.Marcellino, first elected to the New York State Senate via special election in 1995, of the senate Investigations Committee, Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee and was recently appointed head of the Committee on Education.
NBC4 reports Marcellino was one of ten lawmakers looked at by the Moreland Commission for auto expense propriety, i.e. double dipping.
In perhaps unrelated news, Marcellino wrote the following earlier this year about Governor Cuomo's education policies:
“Let’s be clear. I do not support the Governor’s education reform proposals,” he wrote. “His plan is bad policy and bad for education. If it was up to me alone, these concepts would be off the table completely, but it takes the Senate, the Assembly and the Governor to craft a final budget. We must negotiate. Our Senate one house budget did not accept his plan and clearly states our intention to modify his flawed design.”
Marcellino also introduced a bill to delay the teacher evaluation deadline for districts until June 2017 and has backed legislation to release the questions and answers to the state Common Core tests.
It's interesting to me that a guy not totally on board with the education reform agenda gets elevated to education committee chair, then is the subject of a leak that he's under investigation for double dipping.
No smoking gun there, of course, but the skeptic in me wonders why the Marcellino leak comes now, especially since he was one of ten lawmakers the Moreland Commission looked at for "auto expense propriety."
As Arsenio Hall used to say, things that make you go "Hmmm..."