On 6/21/18 I personally called Senator John J. Flanagan's office and spoke with his representative Rob.
I asked him many questions concerning Senator Flanagan's opposition on allowing the
Child Victims Act (bill) to be voted upon the Senate floor (which he has prevented for years).
His main argument was that he though it would "Open the flood gates to frivolous law suits."
Upon further questioning I asked about the law firm that Senator Flanagan previously worked for.
Rob informed me that Senator John Flanagan no longer works for Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo & Terrana. He explained how once the senator came into office as majority leader he no longer practiced law "he thought it was the wrong to be in the law firm and got out". I asked about the fact that Flanagan's "previous law firm" was representing the Diocese of Rockville Centre (The Catholic Community of Long Island) and if the firm still currently representing the church?Robs answer was " I guess so I mean I've talked to them once."
Rod insisted that he (Senator Flanagan) in no way shape or form was taking bribes, kick backs or any other form of monetary contribution or voter persuasion to affect his decision making.
I asked if Senator Flanagan or his representative Rob had any children his answer was, yes they both did. I asked how they would handle if someone molested their child. He said he "didn't want to get into it and that he would handle it as a person".
Rob was very adamant "To think that he (Senator Flanagan) is doing this to get donor money is... disgusting! To ever think he would do anything for a dollar is disgusting! I'm telling you there is no way he is doing this because somebody gave him a dollar. I can guarantee you that 100%. To say he (Flanagan) is protecting predators is a vile way to put it. To say he is taking money, doesn't care about children and protecting predators that he would never let that sit. That he knows how honest and ethical the senator is he would never do anything for money or for a vote"
Upon further research I determined this to NOT BE TRUE!
SENATOR JOHN FLANAGAN IS HAS AN ACTIVE ATTORNEY STATUS
For years, the newly installed State Senate majority leader, John J. Flanagan, has added to his income by working part-time as a lawyer.The Long Island law firm where he has worked for more than a decade, Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo & Terrana, has a long list of prominent clients — some of which, including Cablevision and Citibank, are directly affected by decisions made in the state capital. Its website notes that the firm “regularly works on matters involving key governmental agencies,” including New York State agencies.
Yet when Mr. Flanagan was asked this week whether the firm had clients with business before the state, he responded, “I don’t know, I don’t know.” Told the firm did indeed have such clients, he said, “I’m telling you I don’t know.”
Mr. Flanagan’s professed uncertainty about his law firm’s clients offered a reminder of why government watchdog groups have long been concerned about the practice of lawmakers moonlighting as private-sector lawyers. They worry that the positions give lawmakers an opportunity to profit from their offices and could create conflicts of interest.
After he was installed as majority leader on Monday, Mr. Flanagan said he had given up his law firm position the week before because of the demands of the new job. But little is known about the work he did at the firm, where he listed his position as “of counsel” and made $100,000 to $150,000 annually in 2012 and 2013, according to his annual financial disclosure filings. Before his elevation to majority leader, his Senate salary was $97,500. He will earn $121,000 in his new post.
Mr. Flanagan, a Republican from East Northport, in Suffolk County, was catapulted to his powerful post this week after scandal felled his predecessor, Dean G. Skelos, a fellow Long Island Republican who is facing federal corruption charges and stepped down from the leadership position amid mounting pressure.
Indeed, the drumbeat of scandal in Albany has been so steady that it did not seem unreasonable on Monday when Mr. Flanagan was asked at a news conference to offer an assurance that he did not have any ethical blemishes.
“I don’t believe there’s anything to worry about,” Mr. Flanagan said.
Mr. Flanagan said on Tuesday that he did not represent any clients with business before the state. He said he had dropped his law firm job to enable him to devote himself to being majority leader.
“I made a personal decision for a variety of reasons to just step away from my practice,” Mr. Flanagan said. “And I want to concentrate on this job, and I believe given the magnitude of the responsibility that the only way I can do that is to make sure it’s the only thing that I’m working on.”
The law firm did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.
The outside income of legislators has drawn considerable scrutiny in Albany, and recent criminal cases have brought more attention to the issue. In January, the longtime Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, was arrested on accusations of taking illicit payments that were disguised as legitimate income from practicing law.
Mr. Silver was originally hired by his law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg, with no expectation that he would work on cases or refer them to the firm, according to a federal criminal complaint; instead, one of the firm’s founding partners hoped that Mr. Silver would enhance its prestige, the complaint said.
Mr. Skelos also worked at a law firm, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek. A federal criminal complaint said it appeared that Mr. Skelos “did not perform any actual legal work,” but was paid in large part for referring clients to the firm and meeting with clients, “including about legislative matters.” Neither his firm nor Mr. Silver’s has been accused of wrongdoing.
Though there have been calls to restrict outside income, or even ban those jobs altogether, reforms passed in Albany in the past few years have instead focused on expanding what lawmakers must disclose about their jobs.
Mr. Flanagan, 54, has served in the State Legislature for nearly 30 years. He was 25 and in law school when his father, Assemblyman John Flanagan Sr., died of a heart attack in 1986. The younger Mr. Flanagan decided to run for his father’s seat, and won. Four years later, in 1990, he received his law degree from Touro Law Center on Long Island.
Around 15 years ago, at a different law firm, Mr. Flanagan listed his specialty as transportation law, according to his financial disclosure filings. He joined the Forchelli law firm in 2003, which was also the first year Mr. Flanagan served in the Senate. In his disclosure filings over the last decade, he has listed his specialty as land use and planning. The first sentence of his biography on the firm’s website, which has recently been removed, cited his elected office.
A review of public records and a client list from the firm’s website found numerous clients that have business before state government, like lobbying or obtaining government contracts. The firm’s clients have included Chase Bank, General Motors, HSBC, Northrop Grumman, Yum Brands, Vornado Realty Trust, Walgreens and the Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association.
Mr. Flanagan’s law firm was also one of more than two dozen employers of state legislators that were subpoenaed in 2013 by the Moreland Commission, an anticorruption panel created by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat.
The panel, which was examining the outside income of lawmakers, sought documents regarding his clients and compensation, as well as building access records showing when he came to work, according to a copy of the subpoena his firm received.
The law firm joined with other firms employing legislators to challenge the subpoenas in court, and the matter was unresolved when Mr. Cuomo struck a deal last year to shut down the Moreland Commission.
Mr. Flanagan’s law firm job was not his only business activity in recent years. In 2007, a limited liability company, ASJ Consulting, was registered at Mr. Flanagan’s home address. On his disclosure filings, Mr. Flanagan listed his position as “director” and described the company as a “real estate consulting firm,” but little is known about what the company did.
Kelly Cummings, a spokeswoman for the senator, said that Mr. Flanagan had formed the company “to do real estate work” and that it had been inactive “for some time.” She declined to offer details.
Mr. Flanagan, who is married and has three children, listed no stocks, bonds or mutual funds in his disclosure filing covering 2013. Under liabilities, he listed a personal loan valued at $20,000 to $50,000, whose purpose was listed as college and home improvements.
Ms. Cummings said that the senator’s financial resources had been dedicated to paying for the college education of his children, and that the loan was given by a “close family friend.”
A version of this article appears in print on May 16, 2015, on Page A17 of the New York edition with the headline: New Senate Leader’s Former Law Firm Had Matters Before State Agencies .
Flanagan takes over as Senate leader at a challenging time, following the resignation Sen. Dean G. Skelos, R-Rockville Centre, from the position after federal felony corruption charges were filed against him. The state budget might be healthy, but Albany is not. The last five Senate leaders have gotten into criminal trouble either during or after their reigns.
Oddly enough I am not sure if there is any relation but there is a Peter B. Skelos joined the law Firm of Forchelli, Deegan, Terrana when he retired from the judiciary on July 31, 2015. He directs the Appellate Practice Group and is a member of the Litigation Practice Group. Since leaving the bench, former Justice Skelos has also served as a New York State Supreme Court Special Master in significant commercial litigation. In addition to his law firm practice, Skelos hears cases as highly regarded neutral on NAM’s (National Arbitration and Mediation) New York Metro roster for which he has been designated as a Top Ten Mediator and or Arbitrator in the New York Law Journal’s Annual Survey of Readers.
He has also been designated a New York SuperLawyer in appellate practice for two years running.In November 1994, Skelos was elected to the New York State District Court. He served as president of the Nassau County District Court Judges Association and vice president of the New York State District Court Judges Association. He was elected as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York for the 10th Judicial District in November 1998. Effective January 1, 2002, Skelos was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Term of the Supreme Court. Effective April 26, 2004, Skelos was appointed by Governor George Pataki as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department—one of the busiest appellate courts in the country. In December of 2007, Skelos was appointed by Governor Elliot Spitzer to be a member of the constitutional court of the Appellate Division. In 2012, Skelos was found “Highly Qualified” for the position of Justice of the Supreme Court by the New York State Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission. He was reelected to the Supreme Court and re-designated to the constitutional court. Judge Skelos was known for his incisive questioning from the bench. He is also an author of numerous scholarly opinions.
Again not confirmed at the moment of any relation between Senator John J. Flanagan