The most important actions taken at the end of the session impacting your business was the sudden announcement that SLA Chairman Bradley was being replaced by Governor Hochul with SLA Commissioner Lily Fan. Bradley served as Chairman for eight years, but since he was appointed by Andrew Cuomo, it’s not surprising that Governor Hochul wanted to appoint a new Chair. The Governor nominated Fan to replace Bradley during the last few days of the Senate session and Fan was confirmed before they recessed for the year.
Chairwoman Fan has served as a Member of the State Liquor Authority Board for five years so she is well prepared to take on her new role. A resident of New York City, Chairwoman Fan is an attorney by training and was previously a lawyer at the law firms Shearman & Sterling LLP and Morrison & Foerster LLP. She also served as Legislative Counsel for the NYS Senate Committee on Social Services. She founded a production company in 2010 and has been involved in numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway productions since.
The Senate also confirmed Edgar DeLeon to serve as an SLA Commissioner. Commissioner DeLeon has worked as a Detective-Sergeant and an attorney for the New York City Police Department (NYPD). He retired from the NYPD in 1999 and began his private legal practice, The DeLeon Firm. The firm practices in the areas of criminal defense, matrimonial/family law, and employment and general litigation matters. The DeLeon firm works on a per diem basis representing members of the NYPD Patrolman’s Benevolent Association. Mr. DeLeon also has served as an Impartial Hearing Officer for the State Education Department giving him good experience to draw on in his new role.
The Senate’s confirmation of Chairwoman Fan and Commissioner DeLeon gives the Liquor Authority two commissioners – leaving a vacancy on the Full Board. There was active discussion about a third nominee at the end of the legislative session but a candidate never formally emerged so the seat will be vacant for some time – likely a very long time. This could present some challenges for the Liquor Authority. Only time will tell if it’s a mere annoyance or an actual hindrance to their operation.