RE: Airing the Lottery Commision’s “Chaos”
As Justin wrote last week, none of us were really surprised that “independent” lawyer Joseph Tarantino sided with the Legislature on whether their members could legally stay on the Lotto Commission given that Separation of Powers had been passed. (He said “Yes”). Now, it has been reported that Tarantino managed to profit financially, too.
The Lottery Commission’s recent legal opinion from lawyer John A. Tarantino suggesting it was outside the purview of a separation-of-powers constitutional amendment carried a $16,375 price tag.
That’s more than $1,000 a page for the 14-page opinion.
Tarantino, a lawyer with Adler Pollock & Sheehan, is also defending Lincoln Park — the greatest provider of lottery revenue — in its federal corruption trial.
The Lottery Commission, at its Nov. 22 meeting, had voted 7-2 to hire Tarantino and John A. “Terry” MacFadyen III, of MacFadyen, Gescheidt & O’Brien, to give separate opinions regarding commission and separation of powers.
The motion, which came at the suggestion of the commission chairman, Rep. Robert E. Flaherty, D-Warwick, allocated a total of $50,000 for the two opinions, according to commission lawyer Robert M. Silva.
MacFadyen is not moving forward his opinion, Silva said, because of the “changing landscape” around separation of powers, specifically House Speaker William J. Murphy’s decision not to seek an advisory opinion from the Supreme Court on whether lawmakers can stay on the commission.
But just for the record: C. Leonard O’Brien of MacFadyen, Gescheidt & O’Brien is the defense lawyer for another of the defendants in the Lincoln Park bribery-conspiracy case: Nigel Potter, former chief executive of Lincoln Park’s British parent company.
That Tarantino was paid for his report isn’t surprising, but the revelation of the incestuous relationships between the Lotto Commision, it’s advisors and the Lincoln Park fiasco is indeed cause for an alarmed, if not surprised, eyebrow raise.