The Real Deal New York

Glenwood’s Charles Dorego at center of Silver, Skelos scandals

“He likes to talk about access to politicians,” REBNY exec says

May 26, 2015 09:32AM

From left: Charles Dorego, Leonard Litwin and Andrew Cuomo

From left: Charles Dorego, Leonard Litwin and Andrew Cuomo

To the surprise of many in the real estate industry, Charles Dorego — the general counsel for Leonard Litwin’s Glenwood Management and one of three people who run the company — has found himself at the center of a corruption scandal that has brought down Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, a Republican, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, in recent months.

Dorego, who is cooperating with federal authorities, is known for his access to politicians, according to the New York Times.

“Charlie likes access,” an executive who worked with Dorego at the Real Estate Board of New York told the Times. “He likes to talk about access to politicians.”

Dorego hired lobbyists to make sure that politicians on both the state and city level knew the interests of REBNY and the Rent Stabilization Association as far as rent regulation and the 421a tax abatement go. Rent laws and 421a are both set to expire on June 15.

The tax program is important to Glenwood, which owns about 3,000 rental apartments that receive more than $700 million of 421a tax breaks over 20 years, the newspaper reported. Glenwood owns a total of 26 luxury rental properties in the city.

The 102-year-old Litwin was named as “Developer 1″ in the complaint against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who was arrested in January. Glenwood has spent at least $3.6 million on state politicians and political action committees that support them over the last four years.

“Charlie’s a good guy,” a real estate lawyer told the Times.  “He really is. He doesn’t lie. He always had a big smile on his face. Sometimes you get yourself into a situation with people that you come to regret.” [NYT] — Claire Moses