Photo Op-Ed: Shock As Assemblyman Is Hired By Hilltop Lobbyists


Photo Op-Ed Illustrator: Gary Tilzer. True News @unitednyblogs

Bronx Assemblyman Michael Blake says his work with Hilltop Public Solutions would be entirely on “projects that are national and international in focus,” and which are “predominantly political” campaigns, and would not be consulting for any clients with business before the state.

In testimony at the trial of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Lisa Reid of the bipartisan Legislative Ethics Commission (LEC) confirmed that state legislators are allowed to earn unlimited outside income. Reid also testified that financial disclosure forms only require a “general description” of a lawmaker’s outside income, not a “precise description.”

Mr. Silver’s lawyer, Stephen F. Molo, argued during the trial that because New York lawmakers were allowed to earn outside income, it was “impossible” for them not to have some sort of conflict (NY Times, The Questionable Ways of Albany, Exposed at Sheldon Silver’s Trial, 12/1/2015).

As the LEC’s executive director and counsel, Ms. Reid okayed Assemblyman Blake’s job at Hilltop saying it presented no conflict. Although, LEC opinions are confidential, Assemblyman Blake waived his right to confidentiality so Ms. Reid could respond to media inquiries.

Gary Tilzer is a photo illustrator, journalist and blogger who writes True News  and can be found on Twitter at @unitedNYblogs.


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