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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

After Dean Skelos’ conviction, sister-in-law gone from Al D’Amato’s firm


The sister-in-law of former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who was convicted of corruption charges in December, no longer works for former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato’s Park Strategies firm, according to three people with knowledge of the action.

Carla Bernhardt Silverstein worked in Park’s Albany office until shortly after Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) was convicted Dec. 11, according to the people familiar with her exit. Her departure was related to the conviction, those people said. She was considered a very capable worker, they said.

Skelos was convicted of using the power of his office to land a lucrative job for his son, Adam Skelos. Both men are appealing the verdicts against them.

Park Strategies spokeswoman Dana Sanneman refused to comment Thursday, citing a policy of not talking about personnel matters. Another worker had previously confirmed Silverstein no longer worked at the lobbying firm.

“It is clear that some with close ties to Skelos . . . have become politically radioactive,” said Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group.

Silverstein didn’t respond to a message left at her home requesting comment.

D’Amato was subpoenaed to testify against Skelos, his longtime friend, at the corruption trial. D’Amato had worked for years with Skelos as New York’s Republican U.S. senator from Long Island and later as a major lobbyist in Albany. He testified that he had warned Skelos about his son’s absences from the job that Dean Skelos had helped land at a medical malpractice firm.

The Facebook page of Skelos’ wife, Gail Skelos, identified Silverstein as her sister. Silverstein’s LinkedIn online profile says she began working at Park in October 2005 where she was the executive assistant to Park executive Gregory Serio.

Serio was former insurance superintendent for Republican Gov. George Pataki beginning in 1995, and Silverstein worked for him for more than 10 years, according to her online profile.

The New York Post first reported Silverstein’s departure Thursday.

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