With his politically wired and wealthy father, Jerry Finkelstein, greasing the skids, Stein, a Democrat, was elected Manhattan borough president and City Council president. But by 1994, he suddenly and mysteriously disappeared from the political scene -- before reinventing himself as a financial consultant who used his political connections to secure lucrative government deals for clients.
A year out of Long Island University, Stein -- who had dropped the first two syllables of his name early in his career -- was elected to the Assembly in 1969. He quickly made headlines there with hearings on nursing-home abuses.
Eight years later, he beat David Dinkins in the Democratic primary for Manhattan borough president.
In 1985, he was elected City Council president, a now-defunct position that put him first in line of succession to the mayor.
he divorced his wife, Lynn Forester, who eventually married a Rothschild.
They had two sons, Ben and Jake, who are now in their early 20s.
Except for a public dalliance with conservative firebrand Ann Coulter, Stein remained out of the public eye for years. Then, last year, his name popped up in the probe into a state pension fund scandal.
Investigators for state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo quizzed him over the $1.5 million his firm Arapaho Partners received in exchange for helping a firm called Carlyle Europe Partners win a $133.7 million deal.
His brother, James Finkelstein, sued him for $100,000 over the nonpayment of a loan in 2004.