Charles Lavine

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Charles D. Lavine
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 13th district
Assumed office
Preceded by David Sidikman
Personal details
Born (1947-08-14) August 14, 1947 (age 67)[1]
Marinette, Wisconsin[1]
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Ronnie[1]
Children two: Gregory, Andria[1]
Residence Glen Cove, New York[1]
Alma mater University of Wisconsin
New York Law School[1]
Profession Lawyer
Website Official website

Charles D. "Chuck" Lavine (born August 14, 1947)[1] represents District 13 in the New York State Assembly, which comprises communities located in and around Nassau County, including Glen Cove, Sea Cliff, Glenwood Landing, Bayville, Old Bethpage, and parts of Glen Head, Locust Valley, Mill Neck, Oyster Bay, Centre Island, Cold Spring Harbor, Syosset, Woodbury, Plainview, Bethpage, Farmingdale, Hicksville, Westbury/New Cassel, Jericho, East Hills, Greenvale, Roslyn, Roslyn Heights and Roslyn Harbor.[2]

Lavine was born in Marinette, Wisconsin. He graduated from Marinette High School in 1965 and received a B.A. degree in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1969. After coming to New York, he earned a J.D. from New York Law School in 1972.[1]

From 1972 to 1976 worked as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society of New York. From 1977 to 1995 he served as a partner in the law firm of Grossman, Lavine & Rinaldo in Forest Hills, New York. Since 1996, he has been a sole practitioner specializing in criminal defense work.

Lavine has been a Glen Cove resident since 1980. He and his wife Ronnie have two grown children, Gregory and Andria.[1]

Political life[edit]

In 2000 Nassau County Executive and Glen Cove Mayor Thomas Suozzi appointed Lavine to the Glen Cove Planning Board. In May 2003 Lavine was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Glen Cove City Council, a position to which he was subsequently elected. In 2004 he successfully ran in the Democratic Party primary election for an Assembly seat against six-term incumbent David S. Sidikman[3] and later that year won the seat at the general election, taking office in 2005. Lavine campaigned on "Fix Albany" but voted to re-elect Sheldon Silver as Speaker of the Assembly.[4] In September 2006 he won the Democratic primary.

In 2009, Charles Lavine wrote an Op-Ed in Newsday in support of civilian terror trials.[5]

During the 2010 legislative session Charles Lavine was assigned to the codes, health, judiciary, social services, higher education, and insurance committees. He also served as the chair of the subcommittee on trusts and estates.[6]


In 2008, the Working Families Party[7] endorsed Lavine for Good Government.[8]

The Empire State Pride Agenda endorsed Lavine in 2010.[9]

Economic record[edit]

Ratings by Organizations[edit]

The Business Council of New York State rated Lavine's record at 25%.[10] In 2010, Long Island Business News reported that Lavine was one of three assembly members from Long Island who received a 0% job-growth rating from the Business Council of New York State.[11] He earned a higher rating of 45% from the New York National Federation of Independent Business.[10] Lavine earned a 90% rating from the New York City Americans for Democratic Action (NYCADA).[12]

MTA Tax Legislation[edit]

In 2009, he joined Sheldon Silver and the New York City Democrats in sponsoring the MTA Tax legislation (payroll tax, increased DMV fees, and an additional 5% sales tax on car rentals).[13] Lavine was the only non-New York City Democrat who sponsored A8180 (the MTA Tax legislation).[13]

Temporary New York State Income Tax Surcharge[edit]

In 2011, Lavine supported an extension of the temporary New York State income tax surcharge on individuals earning over $200,000 annually.[14][15] This temporary surcharge was enacted in January 2009 to balance the New York State budget.[15][16] It will expire on December 31, 2011.[14][15]

Criminal defense work[edit]

David McClary[edit]

In 1988, Lavine defended suspected cop-killer David McClary.[17] McClary was later convicted of shooting police officer Edward Byrne "several times in the head at close range".[18] "Charles Lavine, McClary's court-appointed attorney, argued that the judge should go easier on his client than the others, because McClary had no criminal record. The pre-sentencing report, Lavine said, noted that McClary's interests were 'babysitting and basketball.'"[19]

Fadil Abdelghani[edit]

Lavine's client, Fadil Abdelghani, was suspected of attempting to attack key New York City landmarks.[20][21] Abdelghani was later convicted of terrorism. An appellate court upheld the conviction.[22][23]

Ellis Wood[edit]

Lavine defended Ellis Wood in 2002.[24] Wood was suspected of paying Rasheen Harry $500 to kill Carlisle Hall, an owner of a Crown Heights travel agency.[24] "Lavine said Wood gave Harry, a long-time buddy, $20 a few days before the murder out of charity, but that it had nothing to do with a murder contract."[24] After three days of deliberation, the jury found Wood guilty of hiring Harry to murder Hall.[25] "Charles Lavine asked the judge to leave the door open for parole 'in the very, very distant future' if his client proved he had rehabilitated himself. He noted that Wood had never been involved in such a serious crime, and that he was the victim of a tough childhood."[26] New York State Supreme Court Justice Anne Feldman sentenced Wood to life in prison without being eligible for parole.[26]

Gay and transsexual rights[edit]

Gay Marriage[edit]

Lavine supported gay marriage during his years as an assemblyman.[27][28] In 2009, he sponsored A7732 that would allow "same-sex couples the same opportunity to enter into civil marriages as opposite-sex couples".[29]

Transsexual Rights[edit]

Lavine sponsored A5710, a bill that would prohibit "discrimination based on gender identity or expression" and would define "gender identity or expression" as "having or being perceived as having a gender identity, self image, appearance, behavior or expression whether or not that gender identity, self image, appearance, behavior or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth".[30][31] In 2011, Lavine renewed his support for this legislation.[32][33]

Red-light cameras in Nassau County[edit]

Lavine was instrumental in bringing red-light traffic cameras to Nassau County.[34] Not only did he receive praise from local community leaders for his efforts in the assembly but also Lavine for Good Government received a generous campaign contribution.[35][36] American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the beneficiary of the red-light traffic camera project in Nassau County,[37] donated $1,000 to Lavine's campaign in 2009.[36]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Charles D. Lavine: Biography". New York State Assembly. Retrieved March 8, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Charles D. Lavine - Assembly District 13". New York State Assembly. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  3. ^ Cooper, Michael (September 16, 2004). "Incumbents Lose, Albany Shudders". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ Robertson, Campbell (November 28, 2004). "Fix Albany Effort Is Rocking No Boats". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ Lavine, Charles (November 18, 2009). "OPINION: Terror trials: We have the strength for this". Newsday. 
  6. ^ "Charles D. Lavine: Committee Membership". New York State Assembly. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  7. ^ "Editorial: The WFP & Pedro the piker". New York Post. July 21, 2010. 
  8. ^ Liu, Irene Jay (June 12, 2008). "Capitol Confidential: WFP endorsements". Times Union. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b "Project Vote Smart - Assembly Member Charles D. Lavine - Interest Group Ratings: Business and Consumers". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  11. ^ Callegari, John (September 13, 2010). "Business Council of New York State grades incumbents". Long Island Business News. Retrieved 2010-09-13. 
  12. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Assembly Member Charles D. Lavine - Interest Group Ratings: Liberal". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  13. ^ a b "A8180-2009: Relates to implementing various supplemental fees and taxes for the metropolitan commuter transportation district; repealer". New York State Senate. May 7, 2009. Archived from the original on February 28, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Roy, Yancey (March 7, 2011). "Dems' letter to Cuomo: Keep tax on wealthy". Newsday. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  15. ^ a b c Moreno, Tonya (June 15, 2010). "State Income Tax Changes". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  16. ^ "Governor Paterson, Senate Majority Leader Smith, and Assembly Speaker Silver Announce Budget Agreement to Close Largest Budget Gap in State History". New York State Division of Budget. March 29, 2009. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  17. ^ Fried, Joseph P. (December 25, 1988). "Judge Bars Videotape as Evidence in Police Killing". The New York Times. 
  18. ^ Hauser, Christine (February 24, 2008). "A Precinct's Hard Road Back". The New York Times. 
  19. ^ Holland, Beth (June 29, 1989). "Byrne Triggerman Gets the Max Sentencing closes book on cop's murder". Newsday. 
  20. ^ Mickolus, Edward F. (May 13, 2009). The Terrorist List: The Middle East, Volume 1: A-K. Praeger Security International. ISBN 0-313-35768-4. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  21. ^ Fried, Joseph P. (August 23, 1995). "Suspect Denies Knowing He Mixed Bomb". The New York Times. 
  22. ^ "United States of America, Appellee, v. Omar Ahmad Ali Abdel Rahman, Ibrahim A. El-Gabrowny, El Sayyid Nosair, Tarig Elhassan, Hampton-El, Amir Abdelgani, Fadil Abdelgani, Victor Alvarez, Mohammed Saleh And Fares Khallafalla, Defendants-Appellants.". Decided: August 16, 1999. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  23. ^ "United States of America, Appellee, v. Omar Ahmad Ali Abdel Rahman; Ibrahim A. El-Gabrowny; El Sayyid Nosair; Tarig Elhassan; Clement Rodney Hampton-El; Amir Abdelgani; Fadil Abdelgani; Victor Alvarez; Mohammed Saleh and Fares Khallafalla, Defendants-Appellants - 189 F.3d 88". Justia Law. Decided: August 16, 1999. 
  24. ^ a b c Perez, Luis (October 1, 2002). "Prober Says Man Was Slain To Hide Scam". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  25. ^ Katz, Nancie L. (October 4, 2002). "He's Guilty in Hit Man Hire & Slay". New York Daily News. 
  26. ^ a b Wilson, Greg (November 14, 2002). "Jail For Life In Slaying Of Bizman". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  27. ^ "2006 General Election Voter Guide". Empire State Pride Agenda. November 7, 2006. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  28. ^ "Spitzer, Hoyt and 44 Other NYS Elected Officials Support For Marriage Equality For Same-Sex Couples". March 21, 2006. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  29. ^ "State of New York Bill 7732" (pdf). Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2011-03-09. 
  30. ^ "Bills". February 19, 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-09. [dead link]
  31. ^ "The Long Island GLBT Connection: Volume 1, Issue 2". Spring 2008. 
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ "Assembly Authorizes Red Light Cameras In Nassau And Suffolk Counties, Buffalo, Rochester And Yonkers". April 6, 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  35. ^ Spector, Joseph (June 16, 2008). "N.Y. red-light cameras may depend on lobbyist connections". USA Today. Gannett News Service. 
  36. ^ a b "Financial Disclosure Report: Lavine For Good Government". NYS Board of Elections. January 2010. 
  37. ^ "New York's Nassau County Selects American Traffic Solutions for Red-Light Camera Program". Business Wire via May 31, 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
David Sidikman
New York State Assembly, 13th District