Sen. Jack Martins and convicted Senator Dean Skelos.
Sen. Martins Tried to Divert Sandy Relief Resources to Top Political Donor -- Adam Skelos’s Former Firm
State Senator Jack Martins secretly tried to have LIPA restore electricity early to his largest political donor following Superstorm Sandy while thousands of Long Islanders were left without power.
Mr. Martins’s actions, uncovered by a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Request in March 2013, show the Mineola Republican tried to influence LIPA’s decision and fast-track Physicians Reciprocal Insurers (PRI), a firm that is also embroiled in the criminal case involving convicted former State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son Adam.
"While Long Islanders were in the dark, Jack Martins was working to divert emergency relief efforts to his largest political donor,” said Philip “Flip” Pidot, reform Republican congressional candidate who is challenging Martins in the June 28 primary. “He was caught red handed by a FOIL request which showed just how Mr. Martins brand of politics works. This is exactly the kind of insider, special-favor politics that New Yorkers are trying to get rid of.”
Pidot charged that this action should automatically disqualify Martins from running for Congress.
PRI donated $13,000 to Martins in the 2011-12 cycle, before Martins lobbied LIPA on its behalf. In the 2012-12 cycle, the firm gave Martins $17,500 (at least $7,200 more than the law allows). Martins finally returned that $7,200 excess, shortly after declaring his candidacy for Congress a few months ago. There is no record of his remedying what seem to be similar campaign finance violations with PRI during the previous cycle.
PRI is run by Anthony Bonomo, the victim of a well-documented shakedown by Dean Skelos over his son Adam’s no-show job. Bonomo and his immediate family gave Martins another $20,000 in 2012 alone (5x what they gave Skelos), a few months before Adam landed his ill-fated gig at PRI.