Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration and the board of Physicians’ Reciprocal Insurers ousted the organization's putative CEO, Anthony Bonomo, a Cuomo donor and a star witness at the corruption trial of former Senate majority leader Dean Skelos in July 2017.
The board of PRI, the state’s second-largest medical malpractice insurance company, voted to void the company’s management contract with Administrators for the Professions, a subsidiary of AJB Ventures, which Bonomo owns.
PRI, which has struggled financially for nearly a decade, paid Bonomo’s AFP $41.2 million in 2016, a more generous management contract relative to the company’s size than some of its competitors award. Bonomo’s brother, Carl, is executive vice president at AFP. That contract was set to expire at the end of the year, but the Cuomo administration did not want to wait.
The Cuomo administration accused Bonomo of making charitable gifts to promote himself, “his own reputation and ego,” instead of genuine concern for the organization. And Bonomo never ran these donations by the PRI board as he was required to do, according to the letter.
During a 10-year period, PRI donated more than $2 million to organizations with links to the Bonomos or to Gerald Dolman, president of AFP, and another Cuomo donor.
Bonomo’s fall from the governor’s graces came fast. In 2015, while the DFS examination was under way, Cuomo named Bonomo chairman of the New York Racing Association’s reorganization board just days after he donated $50,000 to the governor.
Bonomo has long been a horse owner and his horse, Always Dreaming, won the Kentucky Derby earlier in 2016.
But soon after he was named NYRA chairman, he was embroiled in a federal corruption scandal and became a star witness for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. Bonomo testified that he gave Skelos’ son a no-show job in exchange for the elder Skelos pushing through legislation that protected PRI from liquidation.