Labor & Employment

Attorneys to Ante Up $235K in N.Y. Public Benefits Probe

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More settlements by New York lawyers have been announced in an ongoing public benefits probe by the state attorney general.

Gilbert Henoch, 75, a Long Island attorney, agreed to pay $60,000, and a Queens law firm, Aiello & Cannick, and two lawyers there, Devereaux Cannick and Jennifer Fremgen, agreed to pay a total of $75,000, according to a Newsday account of a press conference today at which Attorney General Andrew Cuomo discussed the settlements.

An unspecified settlement involving an unnamed “upstate law firm,” as Newsday puts it, apparently accounts for the rest of a reported total of $235,000 in such settlements this time around.

As discussed in previous posts, ongoing investigations are being pursued by state and federal government agencies over various questioned employment practices involving private attorneys who have also reportedly been working in state government posts, often for school districts. By doing so, they received employment benefits and often qualified for pensions which allegedly weren’t appropriate for lawyers actually working as independent contractors rather than state employees.

Norman Bloch, a lawyer for Henoch, says his client didn’t do anything wrong but agreed to the settlement to resolve the dispute. “The state said he received a pension in error, so he decided to return it rather than fight about it,” Bloch tells the Long Island newspaper. “Life is too short.”

Related coverage:

Politics on the Hudson (Journal News): “Mount Vernon school lawyers targeted in pension investigation”

Legislative Gazette: “Cuomo: $235,000 to be returned to state under pension settlements” “‘100s and 100s’ of N.Y. Lawyers Involved in Pension Scheme, AG Says” “Lawyers Answer N.Y. Pension Probe With Class Action”

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