For Immediate Release:
April 19, 2023
Public Information Office:
NYS COMMISSION ON ETHICS AND LOBBYING IN GOVERNMENT APPOINTS DIRECTOR AND DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR INVESTIGATIONS AND ENFORCEMENT
Brian Weinberg Named Director and Michael Antolini to Serve as Deputy Director
The New York State Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government’s Investigations and Enforcement Division will be headed up by Brian Weinberg as Director of Investigations and Enforcement and Michael Antolini as Deputy Director, Executive Director Sanford N. Berland announced today. Director Weinberg will lead the Division’s investigations into potential violations of state ethics and lobbying laws.
Executive Director Sanford N. Berland said, “Mr. Weinberg and Mr. Antolini have the skills and experience to ensure that public officials and lobbyists comply with the letter and spirit of the state’s ethics and lobbying laws. Their first priority is to bring the Investigations and Enforcement Division to full capacity under the expanded staffing plan that was approved at the Commission’s March meeting. We are eager to have Brian and Michael begin their work and welcome them to our team.”
Chair Frederick A. Davie said, “The Commission’s duty is to hold the state’s public servants to the high standards of integrity New Yorkers expect and deserve from their government officials. Mr. Weinberg and Mr. Antolini’s backgrounds in investigating and prosecuting bad actors in public service will be invaluable to the Commission as we undertake to restore trust in state government and hold those who violate that trust accountable for their actions.”
Mr. Weinberg is a consummate public servant with nearly 20 years of investigative and prosecutorial experience, including eight years overseeing public integrity cases. Most recently, he served as Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity and Law Enforcement Integrity Bureau of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office. In this role, he managed investigations involving allegations of public corruption and abuse of authority. Mr. Weinberg previously served as Special Counsel of the Public Integrity Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office, where he focused on government corruption, fraud, and abuse of authority by public officials, and as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office overseeing investigations into corruption by public employees, elected and appointed officials and organized crime groups. Mr. Weinberg holds a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University.
Mr. Antolini possesses more than a decade of experience investigating allegations of fraud and corruption in New York City government. Beginning in 2018, he served as a Deputy Inspector General in the New York City Department of Investigation, where he led routine and complex criminal and administrative investigations of public employees. Prior to his promotion to the position of Deputy Inspector General, Mr. Antolini served as an Assistant Inspector General and a Special Investigator. He received his J.D. from Rutgers University and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from St. Thomas Aquinas College.
The Commission’s Investigations and Enforcement unit investigates and pursues enforcement proceedings concerning potential violations of the State's ethics laws (Public Officers Law §§ 73, 73-a, and 74), the "Little Hatch Act" (Civil Service Law § 107), and the Lobbying Act (Legislative Law Article 1-A) as they apply to state legislators, candidates for the Legislature and legislative employees, as well as the four statewide elected officials, candidates for those offices, all executive branch state employees, certain political party chairs, and state and local lobbyists and their clients. In general, the allegations addressed by the Division cover a broad range of potential violations of the Public Officers Law, including conflicts of interest, improper gifts, nepotism, financial disclosure statement violations, and post-employment matters, as well as violations of the Lobbying Act, including improper gifts, failure to register as a lobbyist, and failure to submit required filings.
Reports of misconduct may be made by any person to the Commission through its hotline at 800-87-ETHICS (873-8442) or in writing by emailing [email protected] or through the Commission’s website. Complaints can be anonymous. The Commission’s website includes more information on the investigative process.
The New York State Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government
Created by New York State Law in July 2022, the Commission’s charge is to restore public trust in government by ensuring compliance with the state’s ethics and lobbying laws and regulations. It has jurisdiction over more than 300,000 officers and employees at State agencies and departments, including commissions, boards, State public benefit corporations, public authorities, SUNY, CUNY, and the statutory closely-affiliated corporations; the four statewide elected officials; members of the Legislature and candidates for those offices; and state and local lobbyists and their clients.
The Commission consists of 11 members with staggered four-year terms nominated by the Governor, Senate Temporary President and Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, Assembly Speaker, Assembly Minority Leader, Comptroller, and Attorney General. The Independent Review Committee (“IRC”), comprised of the Deans of the State’s 15 accredited law schools, determines, based upon stated criteria, whether or not nominees should be confirmed for appointment.