Lobbyist Solves New York Ethics Inquiry Linked to Convicted State Senator
By Jonathan Stempel
(Reuters) – A lobbyist whose firm made payments to a law firm employing the son of the late New York State Senator Thomas Libous, at a time when he regularly lobbied the once influential politician, agreed to pay $ 10,000 for resolve ethics charges related to corruption. Investigation.
The state’s Joint Public Ethics Commission said Friday that Fred Hiffa arranged payments totaling $ 50,000 over a year to the Westchester County law firm Santangelo, Randazzo & Mangone, which employed Libous’s son, Matthew.
Hiffa was charged with violating the gift ban provision of a New York lobbying law by having his former Albany-based firm Ostroff, Hiffa & Associates Inc make the payments beginning in 2006, while he lobbied the senator. on behalf of clients.
Prosecutors have said the payments were intended to defray the cost of Matthew Libous’s salary and the lease of a Range Rover.
Mark Glaser, Hiffa’s attorney, declined to comment.
Thomas Libous, who was the second-highest-ranking Republican in the state Senate and chairman of its transportation committee, was found guilty by a federal jury in July 2015 of lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents investigating the hiring of his son by the law firm.
The former senator, from Binghamton, was later sentenced to six months of home confinement after being diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. He died in May 2016 at the age of 63.
Matthew Libous was convicted separately in January 2015 on tax charges and sentenced to six months in prison.
Hiffa’s former firm is now known as Ostroff Associates Inc. He had no immediate comment.
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