The New York City Conflicts of Interest Board has fined Stanley K. Schlein, a prominent political lawyer, lobbyist and former chairman of the New York City Civil Service Commission, $15,000 for misusing city resources and personnel to perform work for his private law practice.
The board said that Mr. Schlein acknowledged using workers at the Civil Service Commission to perform “non-city tasks” for him while on city time. The statement said that workers used computers, telephones and various machines to do work related to Mr. Schlein’s private law practice. The board said that Mr. Schlein had workers making more than 2,000 calls for matters unrelated to the commission from January 2004 to September 2006.
Mr. Schlein has long been a notable figure in New York City politics. For years he has been counsel on critical matters to the Bronx Democratic Party organization, defending incumbents and helping to get insurgent candidates kicked off the ballot.
In recent years, he assisted the Yankees in their longtime goal of starting a new baseball stadium in the Bronx. He was an election lawyer to the former Bronx borough president, Fernando Ferrer, during his unsuccessful challenge to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2005. And he has represented politicians in the Bronx in the city’s plans to build a water-filtration plant under Van Cortlandt Park. He was named chairman of the Civil Service Commission by Mayor Bloomberg.
For a time, officials of the Bloomberg administration, which appointed him chairman of the commission, said that they did not consider Mr. Schlein’s political activities and résumé a conflict. But there have been a few blemishes in Mr. Schlein’s legal career over the years and, in 2006, Mr. Bloomberg decided not to reappoint Mr. Schlein to the commission on which he had held a seat since 1982.
Mr. Schlein did not respond to messages left on his cellphone. But a spokesman, George Arzt, said, “Mr. Schlein decided to settle this matter on an expeditious basis and has agreed to the stipulated payment called for in the settlement.”
In his affidavit, Mr. Schlein stated that, during his time as chairman of the commission: “I asked a principal administrative associate to perform non-city tasks for me on city time, which tasks he did perform for me on city time. These non-city tasks related to my private law practice and included but are not limited to: delivering packages, retrieving and sending facsimiles, greeting visitors and retrieving materials from my car on a number of occasions.”
Mr. Schlein is a graduate of New York University and Brooklyn Law School. He became an important figure in the Bronx Democratic organization in the early 1970s.
At one point, he was top aide to Thomas J. Cuite, a Brooklyn Democrat who was the City Council’s majority leader from 1969 to 1985. Mr. Schlein was also close to Stanley M. Friedman, the onetime Bronx party leader, and Stanley Simon, the Bronx borough president. Both men were driven from office and jailed in municipal corruption scandals. There was never any indication that Mr. Schlein was part of those scandals.