“You don’t need to be a detective to connect the dots between Senator Martins’ legislation and his donors’ needs,” Mr. Pidot said. “The Singh-Martins affair reeks of insider political corruption. And Mr. Martins still hasn’t come clean about his actions. One can only imagine what Mr. Martins might do in Washington.”
Singh was indicted on 13 counts of bribing public officials, obstruction of justice, defrauding the government out of emergency relief funds, and failing to report off-the-books wages to employees. Mr. Singh, his companies SRB Convention and Catering and Raj & Raj Realty, and several of his colleagues gave Senator Martins more than $36,000. Martins twice introduced legislation that would provide retroactive immunity to Mr. Singh and his fellow defendants against class action lawsuits brought by their restaurant employees.
The Martins legislation stalled in Albany after news reports exposed its clear pay-to-play implications.
The legislation by Sen. Jack Martins (R-Nassau County) would in the future consider any service charge by a catering hall a gratuity that has to be paid to the staff unless specifically stated otherwise on the bill.
But Martin's legislation would grant immunity to the caterers from multiple lawsuits already filed by workers seeking tips dating back to 2004 that they say the companies kept for themselves.
"They're paying to play here, and it's corrupt," said John Michael Cohan, who worked at several of the catering halls being sued including Woodbury Jewish Center and Crest Hollow Country Club.
"The rich owners of the catering halls are donating and after they donate, there's a new bill popping up that would wipe out the lawsuits ," Cohan added.
Martins didn’t return a call for comment.
Harendra Singh is led out of the FBI office in Melville after his arrest on Sept. 9, 2015. He was charged with bribery, fraud and obstruction of justice.
Did Indicted Racketeer Harendra Singh Buy Legislative Favors from Senator Jack Martins?
June 1, 2016
In his bid to take on the Long Island machine’s hand picked candidate for Congress, Republican reformer Philip “Flip” Pidot today said his opponents “pay-to-play” politics reeks of corruption and clearly disqualifies him from serving taxpayers.
In a rebuke of State Senator Jack Martins' (R-Mineola) past dealings -- notably accepting large donations from Long Island restaurateur Harendra Singh, a central figure in a federal corruption investigation, around the time Sen. Martins introduced legislation that would provide Mr. Singh retroactive immunity from class action lawsuits -- Pidot called his actions a “blatant quid pro quo.”
State Senator Jack Martins