Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bowzer Knows

The tentacles of workers' compensation politics and the tangled weave of questionable ethics and morals runs deep.

And I'm not saying that the following tale that is unraveling implicates any wrong doing on the part of vice chair of the New York Workers’ Compensation Board, Frances M. Libous, but the appearance of impropriety is pretty strong.

State Sen. Thomas W. Libous, R-Binghamton, the No. 2 Republican in the state Senate, and husband to Frances Libous, was is charged with one count of lying to the FBI about his alleged efforts to obtain a position at a Westchester law firm for his son, Matthew. He faces up to five years in prison.

The indictment relates the FBI had been investigating allegations that Libous arranged for the law firm to pay son Matthew an “inflated salary” in exchange for having legal business steered to it.

The indictment further alleges that Thomas Libous promised members of the firm they would need to “build a new wing” to accommodate the new work if they hired his son.

Prosecutors allege that an Albany lobbying firm, on the direction of Thomas Libous, paid the law firm $50,000 a year to cover part of the requested inflated salary, plus lease payments on a Range Rover for Matthew.

Son Matthew is charged separately with various other legal misdeeds, particularly income tax evasion for underreporting income.

For the record, Matthew is in good standing with the New York State Bar Association with no disciplinary history. Neither Frances nor Thomas are in the bar association's computer records system as members.
Bowzer knows it when he smells it...

Though Frances Libous is not charged or named in any of these criminal accusations, her husband Thomas Libous does have connections with the Texas consulting firm that was just recently replaced as the vendor to the WCB's botched computerization program.

One of Thomas Libous' largest campaign contributors over many years was a Texas company that maintained an office in his Binghamton district and benefited from a scanning contract awarded by the WCB for which the company ultimately billed $88 million to the state.

In April of this year, WorkCompCentral reported that Libous had received 17 campaign contributions totaling $17,875 from SourceHOV or its affiliate, SourceCorp. BPS Inc., between June 2004 and August 2012, according to

In January 2005, SourceCorp. BPS obtained the contract with the WCB to scan records. As of April, the company had received $75,793,904 from the WCB on that original contract and renewals.

However, in April the WCB reported that it had been experiencing “delays and difficulties” with its scanning operations.

In an announcement on its website, it stated that it was hiring Xerox as its new scanning subcontractor, which would work under a main contract awarded to the New York State Industries for the Disabled.

The WCB announcement never mentioned SourceHOV or SourceCorp. BPS or their long-term relationship with the board. Nor did it mention that in March the board granted the Texas contractor a “final extension” on its contract to the end of 2014 for $8.1 million.

In April, WorkCompCentral filed a Freedom of Information Law request with the state Comptroller for copies of several of the WCB’s largest contracts, including its contracts with SourceHOV/SourceCorp. BPS.

To help speed the process, the requests specified exact contract numbers and requested a prompt electronic response.

The Comptroller had not produced the copies of the contract in any form as of July 1.

On June 3, Jane Hall, a records access officer for the Comptroller, replied to WorkCompCentral, “This office is continuing to process your request.”

“This office will write you no later than 8/27/2014 and inform you of any cost associated with producing or photocopying any available records,” Hall’s letter said.

Four months to determine the cost associated with the production and copying of "available" records... or four months to determine IF there are "available" records?

The board basks in the glory of the press when it announces that a business, celebrity or other entity has been "corrected" for alleged failure to provide workers' compensation coverage for employees, and aggressively pursues bad actors allegedly responsible for failed group trusts.

But when it comes to cleaning up its own dirty underwear there seems to be a disassociation.

Denmark is over 3,800 miles from New York but, to paraphrase Shakespeare's Hamlet, me thinks there still be something rotten...

1 comment:

  1. Wow, and the sad fact is, that there are most likely a lot more States with a lot more of this bull going on...... YOUR Awesome Mr. Depaolo. You truly telly the story form both sides, and the side your showing now. WOW thanks again for all you do. Like my PD just told me the other day, after telling him my WC war story. and how im trying to fight back in a system that is very hard to fight back in. Any way, he said he appreciated what I was trying to do. And that really mad my day.... And I want to say as an injured worker suffering from this abuse and oppression as I and some of my mental health folks like to call it. Want to let you know that YOU ARE TRULY APPRECIATED. No many accept the SACRAMENTO BEE, are really putting the truth out there. Plus their are a few more great lawyers on line that are also, spilling the beans, so to speak about the bigger picture of what really is going on in our comp systems. THANK YOU