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The Times
  • Local lawmakers disclose pay from community positions

  • Thanks to the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011, legislators must put a value on outside income, real estate holdings, and stocks and bonds for themselves and their spouses.

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  • For the first time, New Yorkers can see just how much their elected representatives are worth and some of their community connections.
    Thanks to the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011, legislators must put a value on outside income, real estate holdings and stocks and bonds for themselves and their spouses.
    This week, the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics made the disclosure forms for 2012 available online.
    Both senators and assembly members are part-time employees with $79,500 base salaries, but some draw significant stipends from leadership positions.
    The disclosure will let the public know how much lawmakers make from that outside employment and see if there are potential conflicts of interest, said Bill Mahoney, research coordinator for the New York Public Interest Research Group.
    “It shows a much clearer picture,” he said. “It seems unlikely that legislators that would advance legislation because they stand to profit from them but we’ve seen that in the past.”
    The forms were available before but only by request and were heavily redacted. Here’s what they said about Mohawk Valley officials:
    • Assemblyman Kenneth Blakenbush, R-Black River, is the president of the board of directors at B.E.L. Associates, an insurance agency. His salary range is $20,000 to $50,000. He also owns 50 percent of a commercial property in Watertown worth between $250,000 and $500,000. His wife works as a bookkeeper at the insurance agency.
    • Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, D-Utica, is a salaried partner at Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi and Pearlman law firm where he makes between $75,000 and $100,000. His wife is an adjunct professor at Mohawk Valley Community College.
    •Assemblyman Marc Butler, R-Newport, does not have an outside job. He is retired from Utica National Insurance Company. His wife is a principal with the Dolgeville School District. She also works as a consultant for Herkimer County BOCES.
    •State Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna, is a retired lawyer. He has a wide range of investments but no outside job. He serves on the executive committee of the Council of State Governments.
    • State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-Rome, serves on the Rome Community Foundation board but does not draw a salary. He listed an ownership stake in two properties in Rome. His wife is a teacher at Camden Central School.
    • Assemblyman Bill Magee, D-Nelson, rents apartments, sells real estate and owns Magee’s Auction Service. The auction business nets him $20,000 to $50,000; he earned $5,000 to $20,000 in real estate commissions and $20,000 to $50,000 for the apartments. Magee also serves on the board of directors at Crouse Community Center nursing home and Community Memorial Hospital in Hamilton.
    • State Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, is the director of Pathfinder Village, the secretary-treasurer at the Milford United Methodist Church, a trustee of the Glimmerglass Opera and an advisory board member at the Community Bank. His only outside income is from his position at the bank, where he earns between $20,000 and $50,000.
    Page 2 of 2 - • Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, R-New Hartford, is corporate counsel for the Mid-York Press as well as a privately practicing attorney. Her salary is between $50,000 and $75,000. She also makes between $1,000 and $5,000 from her law practice and between $5,000 and $20,000 from OMP Park Inc.
    • State Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, works as a musician at St. Patrick’s Church in Oneida, earning between $1,000 and $5,000. His wife is a teacher in the Oneida City School District.
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