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ALBANY - The son of Anthony Bonomo, a prominent insurer linked to the federal investigation of Sen. Dean Skelos and who until days ago led the New York Racing Association, began working for the Cuomo administration last year, state records show.
Anthony Bonomo Jr. started in 2014 as an executive assistant for the Office of Storm Recovery, which was launched by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to help residents rebuild after superstorm Sandy and other recent hurricanes. Bonomo, who handles constituent services on Long Island, was hired for the $55,000-per-year job in May 2014, a spokeswoman said.
"Anthony is a hard worker and a smart young man who has done terrific work for the Office of Storm Recovery," said Barbara Broncaccio, agency spokeswoman.
Bonomo's father runs Physicians Reciprocal Insurers, a Roslyn-based medical malpractice carrier that holds about 25 percent of the market, according to reports. The Manhasset resident also is a significant campaign contributor and racehorse owner who, until Tuesday, chaired the New York Racing Association, which operates Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga tracks.
Federal prosecutors have alleged that Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), the former state Senate leader, tried to "monetize" his political power by getting payments and a job for his son, Adam, from a developer, an environmental firm and a malpractice insurer. Among other things, prosecutors alleged that the senator arranged a $100,000 per year "no show" job with a medical malpractice insurer. Skelos and his son have pleaded not guilty.
Though Physicians Reciprocal wasn't named in the indictment, a company spokesman said it has been contacted in the probe and has been cooperating with investigators. It has not been accused of wrongdoing.
Newsday previously reported that state lawmakers tucked into this year's state budget an extension of an exemption that helps malpractice insurers such as Physicians Reciprocal.
Cuomo, who appointed Bonomo to the NYRA post, said he agreed with the decision to step down just days before Belmont hosts the so-called third jewel in horse racing's triple crown.