From the NY Post:
Why lobby others when you can lobby yourself?
Two part-time city commissioners who work fulltime as lobbyists are paid tens of thousands of dollars by clients who stand to gain from the commissions on which their conflicted lobbyists serve.
Landmarks Preservation Commissioner Margery Perlmutter is on New York University's payroll to lobby for the school's large-scale expansion -- which first needs a green light from Perlmutter's commission, according to lobbying records.
Meanwhile, Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Harry Giannoulis is the president of a lobbying firm that represents an alternative-energy group that wants vehicles to run on biodiesel.
Perlmutter and two of her colleagues at the Bryan Cave lobby firm have been paid more than $42,000 by NYU to lobby the Landmarks Commission and seven other agencies for approval to build in the heart of Greenwich Village. Among its plans is a 385-foot skyscraper.
Perlmutter plans to recuse herself from the commission's vote, a source said.
Since joining the unpaid commission four years ago, Perlmutter has gained a reputation as pro-preservation and critical of high-rise projects like NYU's.
The city's Conflicts of Interest Board warned Perlmutter in 2006 to steer clear of landmark matters in her day job as a lawyer and lobbyist at Bryan Cave -- and not to share in her firm's profits from lobbying her commission.
Perlmutter told The Post there was no conflict because she claims her work for NYU is limited to the parts of the plan that don't require approval from her commission.
"There are many components -- it's a huge project -- and I'm not involved in the landmarks component," she said.
Giannoulis of the TLC lobbies for the National Biodiesel Board.
He declined to comment.
A source said the biodiesel group hired Giannoulis' Parkside Group to track heating-oil legislation, and that Parkside doesn't work on the biodiesel board's transportation agenda.