State lawmakers are earning big money from law firms — and some of them aren’t doing much lawyering.
Financial disclosure statements made public this month show some legislators earned up to six-figure incomes from law firms without representing a client or stepping foot inside a courtroom.
"I work in an executive capacity with the firm's management committee to develop and advance the firm's strategic goals," State Sen. Michael Nozzolio (R-Seneca County) wrote on his annual statement.
Nozzolio, who earned up to $250,000 from the firm Harris Beach, was one of at least four state lawmakers who reported significant earnings from law firms while admitting they provided no direct services to clients.
Outside income of lawmakers, a thorny issue at the Capitol for years, was put under a new spotlight after the January arrest of then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), who was accused of pocketing $4 million in bribes and kickbacks that were masked as legal fees.
At least 17 state lawmakers earned $100,000 or more in outside income in 2014, much of it coming from legal work, according to lawmakers’ latest financial statements.
In the wake of Silver’s arrest, lawmakers have begun providing more detail about their outside work but the disclosures still leave out important information, such as the number of hours they spent at their side jobs...