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Binghamton Mayor Questions Law Firm’s Recruitment of Senator’s Son
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On Monday, Binghamton Mayor Matthew Ryan filed a complaint with the Joint Commission on Public Ethics alleging unfair play in the hiring of a Senator’s son by a law firm. According to the complaint, Thomas Libous, Senate Deputy Majority Leader, had told the law firm Servino, Santangelo, Randazzo & Mangone that he would channel “considerable amounts of government business” towards them, if they hired his son Matthew with generous compensations.

Ryan wrote in his complaint that Libous “breached the rule with respect to conflicts of interest by having an interest and engaging in a transaction which was in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his duties in the public interest.” A spokesman representing Libous said the senator is “extremely confident that the ethics commission will dismiss (the) baseless and partisan complaint.”

The law firm did not make any comments on the issue.

  
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According to documents available to the court, Mangone, a leading partner of the law firm, pleaded guilty to bribery and tax evasion in the federal case and testified that Libous’ promise of lucrative business was “one of the reasons” the firm hired his son. Mangone told the court that he and other partners agreed to raise the salary of the senator’s son twice on specific requests of the senator. The son received a company credit card, a Range Rover and $150,000.

Mangone also told the court that the senator’s son often missed the court appearances and “at one point we became very dissatisfied” with his work. He left the firm after the firm “couldn’t afford him anymore,” said Mangone.

The complaint reads that Ryan, who is a Democrat, filed the complaint against Libous, who is a Republican, “not in his public role, but as a private citizen.”

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The ethics commission panel created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year had launched 134 new investigations in 2011, and is tasked with policing relationships between lobbyists and public officials. The ethics commission also has the power to refer matters for criminal prosecution and levy civil penalties.





 

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