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DuWayne Gregory, former Suffolk presiding officer, joins lobbying firm

DuWayne Gregory, Suffolk County legislator, is shown in

DuWayne Gregory, Suffolk County legislator, is shown in his Hauppauge office Nov. 18, 2019. Credit: Chris Ware

Former Suffolk County Legis. DuWayne Gregory has joined a politically connected consulting and lobbying firm after his departure from the legislature.

Gregory, 50, became senior vice president at McBride Consulting and Business Development Group on Jan. 13, the Mineola-based firm announced Thursday.

Gregory, a Democrat, who was the legislature’s first black presiding officer, will be involved in the firm’s day-to-day operations and consult on issues of diversity, inclusion and minority- and women-owned business enterprises.

Gregory, of Copiague, announced last month he was resigning from the 15th District legislative seat to join Babylon Town Board, a part-time job, effective Jan. 15. The consulting job is expected to offset the $60,000 pay cut that came with the move, he said.

Gregory said he got the consulting gig after meeting with firm vice president Luis Montes, the Islip Town Democratic Party chair, and senior consultant Jon Schneider, a former deputy county executive who works as a strategist for the county’s largest employee union, while on the hunt for a new job. 

Firm president Robert McBride previously worked for former Republican U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato’s firm Park Strategies, which is a registered Suffolk County lobbyist.

McBride has a consulting contract with the Suffolk Off-Track Regional Betting Corp. McBride's firm is not a registered lobbyist with the county, according to a recent legislative document.

Gregory said he will not handle any business related to county government. County law prohibits former employees from lobbying Suffolk officials or representing clients before them for two years after leaving.

Gregory sparked friction by hiring Montes’ other firm, Long Island Government Relations, to lobby state officials on behalf of the legislature without other legislators’ knowledge. The $24,900 contract that Gregory signed was below the $25,000 threshold to need legislative approval.

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