Today, nine Glenwood buildings get 421-a tax benefits, according to New York City records. In exchange for the tax breaks, Glenwood set aside 459 units, a relatively low 15 percent, of the 2,987 apartments for low- and moderate-income households, according to city records and an analysis by the Association for Neighborhood Housing Development.“Glenwood takes an absurd amount of benefit from the taxpayer’s pocket to boost its bottom line,” said Benjamin Dulchin, executive director of the housing group, which has called for reforming the housing program. “No wonder they use every bit of influence at their disposal.”Days after Glenwood contributed $1,000 to Mr. Cuomo’s re-election campaign, Mr. Dorego and a lobbyist met in April 2011 with the governor to discuss rent regulation, according to state records.
A short while later, after Glenwood contributed $25,000 to the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, Mr. Dorego met with Mr. Skelos to discuss real estate regulations and legislation affecting Glenwood, the complaint says.As the legislative session heated up, Mr. Cuomo met one day in June with representatives from two real estate groups, Mr. Dorego and Mr. Jacob, another top Glenwood executive, as well as Mr. Silver and Mr. Skelos.Two weeks later, Mr. Cuomo had another meeting on rent regulations that included Mr. Dorego and the trade groups.Though it is common for the groups to meet with top officials in Albany, it was unusual, according to several Real Estate Board members, for Mr. Dorego to attend.In the end, real estate executives said, Mr. Dorego and the Real Estate Board were successful in lobbying lawmakers to renew the 421-a program.
Dorego agreed to begin cooperating with the feds in April and received a non-prosecution agreement in return.
Dorego's cooperation has a lot of people worried:
What's prompting concern at the Capitol is that Dorego, as well as Glenwood founder Leonard Litwin, are close to everyone.
“If Dorego is involved,” said one lobbyist, speaking on background, “then you can bet more trees are going to fall.”
In the past four years, Glenwood passed out at least $3.6 million to state politicians and the political committees that support them through a roster of two dozen limited liability companies. Records show it has ties to a dark money group that spent another $1 million attacking Democrats in 2012. It's hard to state definitively, because only some of the L.L.C.s can be readily associated, by address, with their parent company.
The contributions flowed across party lines through both chambers of the Legislature, pooling around the men with the most power, regardless of their stated affiliations or ideologies.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has benefited the most, taking in $1.45 million for his campaign committee and the soft money account he controls at the Democratic State Committee. Glenwood is also the largest donor to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Tom DiNapoli, both Democrats.
What did Cuomo do for the $1.45 million from from Litwin and Glenwood?
I bet Dorego, who met with Cuomo three times, knows.
Cuomo initially said he had nothing to do with Glenwood executives or lobbyists other than they were donors of his:
Cuomo was asked to describe his political and governmental interactions with Glenwood, its executives and its lobbyists since taking office.
“They are a donor of mine. They are a donor of many elected officials across the state, and that's basically the interaction,” Cuomo said. “I've had nothing to do, except they've been political supporters of mine.”
The governor said they “never” brought up rent control or 421-a with him or any members of his administration, “and I have no family members who worked with them or I asked to work them.”
That "never" turned to this after Jimmy Vielkind reported the three meetings between Cuomo and Charlie Dorego:
“The Governor did not remember off the top of his head three meetings from five years ago, two of which also included many other industry advocates,” said Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for Cuomo. “What is clear to everyone is that we emerged that year with the strongest rent regulation laws in decades, which included the creation of a tenant protection unit that has returned more than 37,000 unlawfully deregulated apartments to rent regulation.”
Again, I bet Dorego knows what Cuomo got in return for 421-a support back in 2011.
Is he talking to US Attorney Preet Bharara and the feds about it?
What else is he talking to the feds about?