NY integrity commission charges lobbyists, clients

AP News
Posted: Dec 08, 2009 10:47 AM

The state Commission on Public Integrity is charging 13 lobbyists and clients with violating New York lobbying laws.

Among the groups charged is Patricia Lynch Associates Inc., which the commission says could face $25,000 or more in civil fines for accepting a check for lobby work done before it filed the appropriate paperwork with the state. A spokesman for the company declined to comment.

Powers & Company Inc. is charged with failing to disclose a lobbying contract on time and inaccurately reporting compensation from a contract with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The company didn't immediately return a call for comment. It also faces a $25,000 fine.

The commission has settled for $500 with Bolton St. John's Inc. for charges that it failed to file an accurate compensation statement for its client, Medtronic Sofamor Danek.

The commission also charged the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors with violating the law when it held two legislative receptions. The commission says the group sponsored a reception that didn't have enough people in attendance to be exempted from the law banning gifts.

The association declined to comment while the matter is still pending.

In the previous cases, the entities admitted the violations and paid a $250 civil penalty.

The commission also charged 10 clients of lobbyists with failing to file their semiannual reports on time.

New York state has 5,757 lobbyists and 3,330 lobbying clients. Many clients hire more than one lobbyist. The commission usually issues charges at each bimonthly meeting.