Commission on Public Integrity Requires Lobbyist to Pay for Own Monitoring
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, December 21, 2009
CONTACT: Walter C. Ayres
ALBANY – The New York State Commission on Public Integrity today announced that, for the first time, it is requiring a lobbyist to hire an outside monitor to ensure the lobbyist has adequate compliance procedures and that any future violations of the lobbying law are promptly reported to the Commission. In addition, the lobbyist has agreed to pay a $10,000 penalty.
Bill Lynch & Associates, LLC had been charged with failing to file an Amended Statement of Registration indicating that its client, Trustees of Columbia University of New York City, had increased its compensation by almost $400,000. During discussions with the Commission, Mr. Lynch voluntarily reported other discrepancies of which the Commission was not aware.
Barry Ginsberg, Executive Director of the Commission, said, “Consistent with our goals of fostering compliance and greater transparency, the Commission agreed to this arrangement. We recognize that Mr. Lynch acted in good faith when he brought the additional discrepancies to our attention, and his willingness to cooperate led the commission to suggest this agreement.”
Under the agreement, Mr. Lynch will pay Mark Glaser, of Greenberg Traurig LLP, to develop a Compliance Program detailing the actions that will be taken to help assure accuracy in future reporting. Mr. Glaser also will provide periodic reports to the Commission on Mr. Lynch’s progress. The arrangement is scheduled to continue until July 15, 2011.
Ronald Goldstock, a former Director of the New York State Organized Crime Task Force and a founder and board member of the International Association of Independent Private Sector Inspectors General (“IAIPSIG”), said, “Agreements such as this are effective and efficient for an agency like the Commission. A monitoring agreement minimizes the risk of a future violation and, if one does occur, ensures that it will be detected and punished, while shifting the costs of policing to the violator. Such agreements have been used by similar agencies as well as Federal and State courts with a high degree of success.”
In line with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations, which provide that an organization is entitled to leniency if it enacts a compliance program in good faith, the Commission will waive $7,500 of the $10,000 if the company complies with all the provisions of the settlement agreement.
A copy of the Settlement Agreement is available at http://www.nyintegrity.org/enforcement/norc.html
Information about IAIPSIG is available at http://www.iaipsig.org/about.html