REBNY hires Cozen O’Connor lobbyist to replace retiring John Doyle

Announcement comes months after board offered buyouts to staff

Reggie Thomas and John Doyle
Reggie Thomas and John Doyle

The Real Estate Board of New York announced on Wednesday that longtime City Council lobbyist John Doyle would retire from his position as senior vice president for government affairs, and Cozen O’Connor lobbyist Reggie Thomas would replace him.

Thomas will work alongside Doyle until his retirement is official on May 1, REBNY said.

“We salute John Doyle for everything he’s done on behalf of our industry. For more than three decades, John’s advocacy and sound judgment has served our community well,” REBNY president John Banks said in a statement.

At Cozen O’Connor, Thomas has represented education groups, media companies and real estate firms on matters before local government, according to the firm’s website. From 2011 to 2015, he served Mayors Bill de Blasio and Michael Bloomberg in the Office of City Legislative Affairs. Thomas had only joined Cozen O’Connor in November, after previously working for the law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips.

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News of Doyle’s departure comes just months after REBNY offered buyouts to staff with service of at least one year. At the time, both Doyle and head of research Michael Slattery were said to have declined those offers. A spokesperson for REBNY told The Real Deal on Wednesday that Doyle never accepted any buyout deal.

REBNY also announced on Wednesday the appointment of a new general counsel, a new role at the board, which will be helmed by Carl Hum, a government affairs executive who joined REBNY in 2015.

Last year, REBNY advocated against a City Council bill that effectively required general contractors to provide construction workers with additional safety training, spending significant sums on television and radio advertising through an offshoot group called Putting New Yorkers to Work. The bill ultimately passed the chamber, but not without some concessions regarding the number of of required instruction hours.

Rich Bockmann contributed reporting.