John Curran, husband of Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, has a new job as outside counsel for the board of directors of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
John Curran, a veteran trial attorney, is a partner at Walden Macht and Haran in Manhattan. He is part of the firm's white collar and investigations practice, defending organizations and individuals responding to government investigations, and leading internal investigations into suspected wrongdoing, according to the law firm's website.
Curran will earn up to $240,000 a year under the MTA contract, an MTA spokeswoman said.
Chris Boyle, spokesman for the Republican majority on the Nassau County Legislature, said John Curran's acceptance of the MTA position "effectively compromises the county executive's ability to oppose MTA projects and actions, including fare hikes, LIRR station maintenance and a host of issues that affect Long Island commuters."
Boyle said the appointment "creates a serious conflict of interest where the MTA Board takes action that is detrimental to Nassau residents. Tens of thousands of Nassau taxpayers who suffer through frustrating daily commutes have lost their voice when it comes to the MTA and the LIRR."
Christine Geed, the county executive's spokeswoman, denied any conflict of interest.
”John Curran is an established professional attorney in the field of white collar and security investigations," Geed said. "There are very clear rules about conflicts of interest in his legal ethics and the MTA board’s ethics."
MTA board member Linda Lacewell said, “It’s a best practice to make outside counsel available to a board of directors.
"The board concurs that John Curran is exactly the right person to help us fulfill our obligations to the public, given his sterling reputation and deep experience, as we move forward with the transformation plan and renewed efforts to root out waste, fraud and abuse.”