The state Board of Elections is expected to meet Sept. 30 and approve a former aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver as the board’s enforcement counsel.
“We fully expect it to be taken up at the next board meeting,” said board spokesman John Conklin of the position.
Kathleen O’Keefe, a former counsel in the Assembly, is expected to win the appointment from the four-member Board of Elections.
O’Keefe, a Greene County attorney, has also served as special counsel to Democrats in elections, including last year’s close Senate contest between Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk and Republican George Amedore, and the tight race in 2010 between Frank Skartados and Tom Kirwan for the state Assembly.
In 2010, O’Keefe wrote a letter on behalf of Dutchess County Elections Commissioner Frank Knapp, encouraging the county Democratic committee to reappoint her to the post.
“Your knowledge of the election law puts most lawyers to shame and your experience in running elections would not easily be replaced,” O’Keefe wrote to Knapp in a letter obtained by Gannett’s Albany Bureau.
In July, 94 criminal charges, felonies and misdemeanors, were filed against Knapp for a variety of election law violations.
O’Keefe could not be reached for comment today.
The Board of Elections is required to fill the post with another Democrat to succeed retiring enforcement officer Liz Hogan.
At a board meeting in July, board members hinted that O’Keefe was being eyed for the post, the Albany Times Union reported.
The Daily News in an editorial in July knocked O’Keefe’s potential appointment.
“This is a counsel who has shown that she can be trusted to do the right thing — for the insiders. And this is an Albany maneuver that proves once again that the Cuomo commission has its work cut out,” the editorial said.
Silver has been under fire for not acting swiftly against disgraced Assemblyman Vito Lopez for sexual harassment charges filed by aides.