Friday, September 26, 2014

Win or lose, it's all about the money

From the Observer:

The Queens attorney, trounced this month in a three-way primary for indicted State Senator Malcolm Smith’s seat, quietly funneled more than $40,000 in campaign cash to his own law firm during and after the race. The eyebrow-raising move, while legal under New York State’s porous election law, has infuriated some of his bundlers and raised new ethical questions about the first-time candidate’s purpose for even seeking elected office.

But Mr. Avery claimed he simply selected the Law Office of Munir Avery because of its “experience, dedication and commitment to affordable legal services”–even though Mr. Avery paid his firm more cash than Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave to his ace election lawyer. “The campaign hired The Law office of Munir Avery for its experience in the legal compliance consulting field. If you look at the amount every other campaign spends for these services you will find this fee to be quite affordable and in sync with the industry as a whole,” Mr. Avery said in a statement.

“The campaign looked at several service providers and determined the Law Office of Munir Avery was the best option because of their experience, dedication and commitment to affordable legal services,” he added.

Practicing elder law and estate administration, Mr. Avery has served as a counsel to Queens Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz. The failed candidate’s law office website is a Tumblr page and sources say he is the firm’s lone employee.

Remarkably, the $40,852 spent on “legal compliance” fees to himself from July until 10 days after the primary represented about half of his total campaign expenses. In that time, he managed to raise more than $80,000, keeping pace with Mr. Comrie and Mr. Smith.

One government watchdog said it wasn’t “atypical” for a candidate to send money to his own law firm or staff, but questioned the sheer amount Mr. Avery spent and his lack of disclosure about its purpose.


Joe Moretti said...

During the senate campaign in Jamaica’s District 14 between corrupt Senator Malcolm Smith, useless Leroy Comrie and newcomer attorney Munir Avery, I felt the Avery was a breath of fresh air in a sea of Jamaica corruption, questionable leaders and uselessness, but I guess I might have been wrong as this recent article revealed some ethical issues concerning Avery.

WOW, it seems that you cannot trust any leader from Jamaica, either they are corrupt, questionable or just damn useless. Certainly not quite how Mr. Avery portrayed himself during the campaign.

I guess Jamaica politics is all about picking the lesser of evils. Must be something in the water here that breeds this behavior.

Anonymous said...

The smart voters of new York will eventually elect him, he has the necessary qualifications for elected office

Anonymous said...

The Queens Democrats have consultants who school potential losers in how to profit from the state's campaign financing laws - you know - the ones that were supposed to "keep money out of politics."

Avery passed the course. At the Republican school, Halloran slept through the classes and now he's paying the price.

Anonymous said...

Joe, you can pretty much say that about anyone in Honest Joe Crowley's little kingdom.

Just about anyone.

ron s said...

Not even elected yet, and already sleazy.....

Anonymous said...

I guess Jamaica politics is all about picking the lesser of evils. Must be something in the water here that breeds this behavior.

Makes you wonder if it is Jamaica that corrupts them; or were they already corrupt and that why's Jamaica was an attractive place for them to ply their trades. It's a "chicken and egg" scenario.