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Glenwood cuts campaign contributions as Silver corruption trial looms

Glenwood Management, the developer that reportedly played a role in corruption scandals involving top Albany leaders, has drastically scaled back its campaign donations for the first half of this year.

According to Capital New York, the company only spent $66,457 on political contributions for the period, which represents a massive reduction from the amount of money it disseminated during similar cycles in recent years.

The company, once one of the largest campaign donors in the state, provided 1.4 percent of the total sum given to political committees during the last election cycle.

SHELDON SILVER
SHELDON SILVER

Glenwood’s founder, Leonard Litwin, and a number of limited liability firms that the company controls, were the most generous donors to state-level politicians and their parties, providing $3.6 million in contributions.

One of the main beneficiaries of Glenwood’s donations was Governor Andrew Cuomo, who received $1 million for his re-election campaign.

With the company’s newfound aversion to campaign spending, Cuomo and other Albany leaders have received no endowments from their most generous benefactor. During the last election, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli received a combined $420,000 from Glenwood. Those figures have been reduced to zero.

Since the start of the year, Litwin and his firm have been identified as an unnamed party in scandals that shifted the power base in Albany.

Former State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was accused of illegally earning referral fees by directing Glenwood to a law firm that he was involved with. Silver, who lost his leadership position after a tenure that lasted more than two decades, is scheduled to go on trial in November.

Glenwood is also believed to have been involved in the corruption case of former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

The company was said to have paid $20,000 to Skelos’ son, Adam. The fee was sourced through a title insurance company that the younger Skelos never worked for. In exchange for the payment, Skelos was said to have pushed for rent regulation provisions that the developer lobbied for.

Glenwood owns and operates a slew of apartment buildings in NYC, including the Paramount.
Glenwood owns and operates a slew of apartment buildings in NYC, including the Paramount.

In both complaints, Glenwood Management was not named. The documents named a company referred to only as “Developer-1.”

However, the complaints contained clues that pointed to Glenwood. In the Silver case, developer-1 was described as having “contributed more than $10 million to candidates for State office and State political committees” from 2005 to 2014. The developer was said to have been pushing for favorable reforms to the 421-a tax break.

According to Capital New York, only Litwin and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated more than $10 million during the period.

In the Skelos case, it is believed that Glenwood executive Charles Dorego co-operated with the investigation. Glenwood has not been accused of any wrongdoing on both complaints.

With the scandals drawing more attention to its political movements, Glenwood has since taken a step back from supporting candidates.

Glenwood has continued to donate to the RSA.
Glenwood has continued to donate to the RSA.

According to disclosure reports filed this month, the company has only given money to three committees and one candidate. Its contributions include $10,000 to the Democratic Organization of Queens County, $51,457 to landlord organizations Rent Stabilization Association and Neighborhood Preservation PAC and $5,000 to an unnamed Independent Party candidate. Glenwood did not respond to requests for comment on the disclosure.

In total, the company’s contributions only amounted to six percent of its donations last year. During the same period in 2014, the company reported $1.02 million in contributions to political committees.

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