Government Watchdogs Call for JCOPE to Investigate Keith Wright's Arrangement as Party Chairman and Lobbyist

Common Cause/NY, Citizens Union, Reinvent Albany say he can't have it both ways

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NEW YORK, NY (02/24/2017) (readMedia)-- In response to Manhattan Democratic Party Chairman and former State Assemblyman Keith Wright's employment by a New York City lobbying firm, Common Cause New York, Citizens Union, and Reinvent Albany sent the attached letter to the Joint Committee on Public Ethics (JCOPE) requesting an investigation into the legality of Chairman Wright's arrangement.

"Keith Wright can be a party chairman or a lobbyist but he can't have it both ways," said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause New York. "The opportunities to wield his political position for personal enrichment, or use his position to advance a client's agenda present a clear conflict of interest. He's got to make a choice."

"Keith Wright is a gifted New Yorker who did an excellent job representing the residents of the 70th Assembly district for 22 years," said Dick Dadey, Executive Director of Citizens Union. "He also has done a very good job as county chair of the Manhattan Democrats. But his position now as both a paid and retained lobbyist, and party chair of the New York County Democrats is a troubling conflict. Chairman Wright cannot possibly fulfill his public role as the county chair of Manhattan Democrats, while also serving as a private lobbyist. Chairman Wright cannot lobby Manhattan elected city officials for support on interests he represents, while at the same time working with these same officials on political matters over which he has considerable power as county chair. He can be one of the other, but not both."