Gov. Patterson Appoints New MTA Board Member

Catching up with news from the last 24 hours, New York Governor David A. Patterson has appointed a new MTA Board member. The new board member is Allen P. Cappelli, a 53 year old criminal defense lawyer who was at one time an ex-Democratic lobbyist. His appointment to the board was made to fill in the vacancy created by the passing of board member Francis H. Powers in June. William Neuman of the New York Times has more on the new board member:

Gov. David A. Paterson on Tuesday appointed a Staten Island lawyer and former lobbyist to the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The lawyer, Allen P. Cappelli, a longtime Democratic political operative, worked as the campaign manager for Carl C. McCall during his unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2002.

Mr. Cappelli, 53, was also a political adviser to the former Bronx borough president Fernando Ferrer, and was his communications director from 1998 to 2002. Before that, he was appointed to several posts by Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, including director of the state ombudsman’s office, and was a top campaign aide to Mr. Cuomo during his losing bid for re-election in 1994.

Click here for the entire article.

The governor’s website issued a press release to announce the appointment:

Governor David A. Paterson today announced the appointment of Allen P. Cappelli as a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board. Mr. Cappelli, of Staten Island, is currently working as an attorney in private practice.

“Allen Cappelli will fill an important vacancy on the MTA board,” said Governor Paterson. “Allen will continue to be a strong voice not only for Staten Island, but also for the eight million people who take New York public transportation each day. I look forward to his confirmation.”

Mr. Cappelli resides in Staten Island with his wife, Marina, and their three children. He has served as a board member for Project Hospitality, Staten Island Community Television and St. Vincent’s Medical Center of Richmond. He served as Vice Chairman and Land Use Chairman for Staten Island’s Community Board One and as a commissioner representing Staten Island on the New York State Charter Commission.

Professionally, Mr. Cappelli served as Communications Director to Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer from 1998 to 2002 before opening his own law office. From 1994 to 1997, Mr. Cappelli was a member of the New York State Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board, serving as Chairman of the board from 1994 to 1995. Mr. Cappelli served as Assistant Special Deputy Superintendent to the New York State Department of Insurance from 1988 to 1994, and as Director of the Office of the New York State Ombudsman from 1986 to 1988.

Mr. Cappelli received his J.D. from New York Law School, cum laude, and his B.A. from the City University of New York’s College of Staten Island.

Mr. Cappelli’s term runs through June 30, 2009. This is an unpaid position and requires confirmation by the Senate.

I am curious to see how Mr. Cappelli will do as the newest board member considering his past history with the MTA. He has been notorious for questioning the MTA’s investment in Staten Island transportation options along with their overall operational track record system wide. I sincerely hope he does not do a complete 180 & becomes a yes man on the board. Transit riders across the region do not need another yes man on the board.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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