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ALBANY - Nassau County Democrat Chairman Jay Jacobs criticized Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City) on Thursday for touting his political role on his law firm’s web site. Republicans said it’s much ado about nothing.
Hannon – a 27-year incumbent whom the Democrats’ have unsuccessfully targeted in elections before – is one of many state legislators who earn outside income as lawyers, working as special counsel at Farrell Fritz, a Uniondale-based firm.
Hannon, in a question-and-answer profile on the company website, says he has a background in “municipal law, constitutional law, land use planning, corporation law and real estate law. “ He also notes that he is the chairman of the Senate Health Committee and says that “during the era of Obamacare, New York has recast its health delivery system, leaving many participants puzzled as to their place and role in the system.”
Jacobs said Hannon is using his political standing to promote the law firm’s interests.
“To use one's government service to promote their business is outrageous,” Jacobs said in a statement. “We need senators that will look out for the people of Long Island and not simply promote their personal interests. The old ways of doing business are not working and we need real change.”
A spokeswoman for Senate Republicans called the complaint unfounded.
“Jacobs’ statement is clearly partisan politics at its worst,” said Senate Republican spokeswoman Kelly Cummings. “Democrats are trying to make an issue where none exists.”
Hannon, along with the other 212 state legislators, is up for re-election in 2016.
In his most recent financial disclosure statement Hannon said of his work at Farrell Fritz: “I am neither a partner nor a shareholder. I do not provide direct service to clients. I advise and counsel the firm and its lawyers on a range of matters including administrative and organization aspects of the firm. None of my endeavors are billed to clients.”