From the NY Post:
Former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone’s lobbying firm was hit with a mind-boggling $470,000 fine — but got it knocked down to $70,000 after it hired the former head of the State Lobby Commission to plead its case before a judge.
The fine was for failing to file annual reports with the City Clerk’s Office for each client that pays the firm $2,000 or more a year.
A spokesman for Constantinople & Vallone — which billed more than $2.5 million last year and was the city’s No. 3 lobbyist by income — blamed a “renegade” secretary for misleading the partners into thinking the filings had been completed on schedule when, in fact, they were delayed for nearly a year in many cases.
“They [Vallone and his partners] accepted [the secretary’s] remarkable claim that it was ‘impossible’ to print out a filing confirmation from the e-Lobbyist system,” said administrative law Judge Kevin Casey.
The judge pointed out that the partners were responsible for certifying the filings, but instead delegated the job to a “disorganized subordinate."