IN HIS OWN WORDS: Sparaco’s Lawyer gets No Show Job in Clarkstown

Breaking news story reported first in the Rockland County Times on January 5, 2012

BY DYLAN SKRILOFF

The same position that only two years ago County Legislator and Minority Leader Frank Sparaco referred to in a series of Rockland County Times articles as being a no-show job paid off as political patronage to former Chair of the Independence Party Marsha Coopersmith, is now going to the law firm of Sparaco’s close friend and lawyer Jay Savino, albeit at about half the price and on an annual per diem basis.

Coopersmith’s lucrative position as deputy town attorney has been erased from the books, and Savino, who is also the chair of the Bronx Republican Party and a regular in NYC tabloids, has been hired. The position ostensibly deals with tax certioraris and Savino’s firm put in the lowest bid of $87K.

Coopersmith was paid over $127K a year plus pension and benefits of about $45K. Savino will be paid approximately half that amount. Supervisor Gromack said the town is saving over $75,000 in the deal. “It’s a very important job, handling all the tax certs for the Town of Clarkstown,” Gromack said.

When told that Sparaco had said Coopersmith’s job as a deputy town attorney was a “no-show job,” Clarkstown officials denied it. Supervisor Alex Gromack, Councilman Frank Borelli and Councilman George Hoehmann all said the job had legitimate duties.

However, even by their own math, the town ought to admit Coopersmith’s position was at best a “half-time job” seeing as they were able to easily hire someone at about half the price.

How many other “no-show” and “half-time” jobs are in effect in Clarkstown and all over local government?

In 2010 Sparaco said that Coopersmith got the job due to her influential position in the Independence Party. In 2010 Sparaco’s mother-in-law Debra Ortutay became new chair of the Independence Party and since then the former self-described “man against the  machine” has found himself in the sudden position of actually having political influence.

Savino has helped represent the Independence Party in a claim against Coopersmith as well as helped defend her against election fraud charges she is currently dealing with pertaining to Sparaco’s 2010 run for state assembly.

The only vote against the appointment was by Democrat Stephanie Hausner. She said she prefers that local attorneys fill positions in town government. She said it was “interesting” that Savino represents the Independence Party and is currently involved in a lawsuit against Coopersmith, whose job he is replacing.