The Company You Keep

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Last week, the Gallo campaign for mayor released a piece on its City Council slate, describing each of the wannabe councilmen who are running against Reggie Spinello’s re-election. The release describes something about each of the candidates, including where they’ve worked and where they now work.  One narrative in particular stands out, not for what it says, but for what it doesn’t say.

Efraim Spagnoletti, who together with Mr. Gallo has been a thorn in the side of progress since they were elected to the City Council, seems to be something of a mystery man. Since his election a year and a half ago, Mr. Spagnoletti is never seen at City Hall or anywhere else in Glen Cove except to show up for City Council meetings and events where he can have his picture taken.

The release claims that Mr. Spagnoletti “hopes to continue his work repairing fiscal mismanagement and scrutinizing city spending and finances.”  Is he kidding?  What fiscal mismanagement is he talking about and what has the mysterious Mr. Spagnoletti been scrutinizing?

More curious, however, is the description of his background. While all the other candidates named the names of where they’ve worked, the description of Mr. Spagnoletti’s background is at best odd, and at worst misleading. He says that he “was previously with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and is now the Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer with a global investment and asset management firm.”

This description begs the questions, “What did he do at the Securities and Exchange Commission” and “What’s the name of the global investment and asset management firm” where he now claims to hang his hat? In other words, why the mystery?

There’s a neat little tool that can be accessed on the Internet called the FINRA Broker Check. It’s maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (that’s where the “FINRA” acronym comes from). If you look up Mr. Spagnoletti, you’ll find that he was registered with no less than five—count them, five—firms in the seven years between 2001 and 2008. That looks like it could be five jobs in seven years!  And now, according to FINRA records, he’s no longer registered in the securities business, so you have to wonder what he’s been doing since 2008 other than trying to figure out with Tony Gallo how to get rid of Mayor Spinello.

And this is the guy who wants to “continue his work repairing fiscal mismanagement and scrutinizing city spending and finances.” And this is also the guy who Tony Gallo picked to be his right hand man.

—Pasquale Cervasio

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