NY comptroller: Attorney has to pay back pension

Five school districts incorrectly classified a private attorney as an employee, allowing him to obtain a yearly pension of nearly $62,000 to which he was not entitled, the State comptroller said in an opinion released Friday.

School doubled lawyer's salary, boosting pension

Hewlett-Woodmere school officials more than doubled the salary of a private attorney on its payroll in his last two years at the district -- substantially boosting his New York State pension -- while paying his law firm more than $400,000 in additional fees during those same years, district records show.

Pension probe to scrutinize state school districts

The investigation into possible double-dipping by attorneys working for school districts in obtaining state pensions expanded markedly Wednesday, as State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo asked for information about potential financial irregularities from all 704 school districts across the state.

Lawyer in probe sought spot on school district payroll

Carol Hoffman, one of three Long Island attorneys under federal and state investigation for their financial relationships with school districts, asked the Glen Cove school district to put her on the payroll in 2001, justifying it by saying that three other districts were doing the same thing, according to her letter.

Federal agents subpoena two dozen school districts

A slew of federal agents ranged out over Long Island yesterday hand-delivering grand jury subpoenas to more than two dozen school districts as part of an investigation into possible double-dipping by attorneys employed by some of the districts, according to school officials, attorneys and sources.

Attorney sought to get on Roslyn payroll

Carol Hoffman, one of three Long Island attorneys currently under federal and state investigation for their employment arrangements with school districts, solicited the Roslyn school district in writing in 1998 asking to be put on the payroll and explaining that she wanted to get more credit in the state pension system.

Reich's journey started at state Education Dept.

It started for Lawrence Reich behind the towering marble columns of the New York State Education Department, across the street from the state Capitol in Albany. It ended for him beneath the gold-framed Gustav Klimt posters in a law firm's conference room in Hauppauge.

Four law firms dominate school district services

On Long Island, where public education is a multi-billion-dollar enterprise, four law firms control more than 60 percent of the estimated cost for legal services.

Cuomo wants records from every LI school district

The investigation into possible financial misconduct at Long Island school districts has escalated sharply as New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo requested that all 124 districts on Long Island provide extensive information on their relationships with lawyers and law firms for the past eight years.

Probe of school districts' deals with lawyers grows

The investigation into allegations of financial wrongdoing at a number of Long Island school districts has mushroomed, with the New York State Attorney General's office subpoenaing the records of two more law firms and federal agents, in a parallel investigation, serving subpoenas on officials in a number of school districts.

Islanders sound off on schools' private lawyers

Long Islanders interviewed yesterday by Newsday expressed mostly outrage about Lawrence Reich and other private attorneys who have been listed by school districts as employees, enabling them to earn state pensions, while their law firms were also being paid fees by those districts. Some of those interviewed demanded a thorough county investigation of the matter, while others said the money paid to the lawyers should be used to fund teacher salaries and after-school programs.

More schools involved in lawyer, pension scandal

Six more Long Island school districts listed two private attorneys as employees, enabling them to earn state pensions, while also paying their law firms more than $1 million in fees, state and district records show.

TIMELINE: The story so far

Feb. 14: Newsday.com reports that five Long Island school districts falsely reported to the state that part-time private attorney Lawrence Reich was a full-time employee in each district, enabling him to earn a public pension of nearly $62,000 and health benefits for life.

Joye Brown: Our schools are a big business with big troubles

And so it grows, with today's installment of lawyers, law firms, school districts, school board members and superintendents caught in the glare of public scrutiny.

FBI, IRS get Suffolk attorney Reich's records

Federal agents yesterday obtained the business records of a Suffolk County attorney who is at the center of a criminal investigation involving his employment by five Long Island school districts.

Official who warned Reich now in Roslyn district

The Harborfields school official who made light of Lawrence Reich's employment arrangement in a letter warning him to "correct the record" now works in the Roslyn school district, which has weathered its own financial scandal in recent years.

AG Cuomo starts investigation into 5 LI districts

State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo yesterday started an investigation, parallel to an ongoing federal probe, into possible financial misconduct at five Long Island school districts, issuing a subpoena for records at the Hauppauge law firm of Ingerman Smith, according to a spokesman for Cuomo and an attorney for the firm.

Joye Brown: Children again lost in district legal shuffle

Children.

Firm suspends lawyer in school district scandal

A part-time private attorney who was listed as a full-time employee by five school districts - enabling him to earn health benefits and a nearly $62,000-a-year state-funded pension, while his law firm was paid millions of dollars in fees - has been suspended by his current law firm, one of its partners said yesterday.

Editorial: Stop school districts pension pay scam

How does an attorney in private practice, a partner in a big educational law firm raking in millions of dollars for representing 40 local school districts, qualify for a $61,000-a-year state pension and health benefits?

School districts paid law firm millions

A small-town law firm founded in 1937, Ingerman Smith grew into a legal powerhouse, representing more than one-third of all the school districts on Long Island and racking up millions of dollars in fees.

What did law firm know about pay arrangement?

A small-town law firm founded in 1937, Ingerman Smith grew into a legal powerhouse, representing more than one-third of all the school districts on Long Island and racking up millions of dollars in fees.

FBI subpoenas 5 school district for data on lawyer

A federal grand jury in Central Islip has opened an investigation into possible fraudulent financial double-dipping at five Long Island school districts, according to several sources.

Five districts falsely reported lawyer's job status

Five Long Island school districts falsely reported to the state that a part-time private attorney was a full-time employee in each district, enabling him to earn a public pension of nearly $62,000 and health benefits for life.

Schools' job classifications not sanctioned

Attorney Lawrence Reich says what he was doing was "common practice" among Long Island attorneys.

Records don't show practice is common

Attorney Lawrence Reich says what he was doing was "common practice" among Long Island attorneys.




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