The firm, Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin, received $29,000 last summer and fall for advising Mark-Viverito’s Council campaign, and it got $8,000 in December for assisting her subsequent bid for speaker, records show.
In addition, more than 20% of the $100,000 Mark-Viverito raised for the speaker’s race, and most of the $27,000 tab for her Jan. 29 inauguration bash, came from Pitta Bishop clients.
Pitta Bishop lobbied Mark-Viverito on behalf of one client soon after the Nov. 5 election for Council, and it lobbied her on behalf of three others after the Jan. 8 election for speaker, new disclosure reports show.
A good government group criticized the relationship. “It’s problematic when you hire a firm to do your political work that’s also going to lobby you,” said Dick Dadey of Citizens Union. “It’s a very tight circle of influence.”
Disclosure reports show an advocacy group, the East Side Alliance Against Overdevelopment, paid Pitta Bishop $15,000 in November to fight a plan by Memorial Sloan-Kettering hospital to build two towers on city-owned land on E. 73rd St.
“We hired Pitta Bishop and they did a great effort,” said the group’s attorney, Albert Butzel.
Pitta Bishop lobbied Council members from Manhattan, including Mark-Viverito — who represents East Harlem — to vote against the project when it came before the 12-member Manhattan Borough Board on Nov. 21.
Mark-Viverito voted no, but the project was approved 6 to 4. Mark-Viverito’s spokesman said her vote had no connection to the lobbying by her consultant.
“What can we say? We’re a lobby firm. We lobby,” said Bill Farrell of Pitta Bishop.
In January and February, Pitta Bishop lobbyists also met with Mark-Viverito’s staff on behalf of another client, the Vera Institute.
The goal? Vera’s request for additional Council funding of a pilot program providing legal aid to immigrants. Vera received $500,000 in funding last year and wants $5 million more this year.
Mark-Viverito’s spokesman declined to comment on Vera’s request, which is pending, except to point out that the pilot program began under previous Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
Pitta Bishop also lobbied Mark-Viverito in January and February seeking “support for museum programming related to anti-bullying” run by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Manhattan.
She was asked to speak at an anti-bullying event targeted to children, which she agreed to do, her spokesman said.