Mel Miller

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For South African comedian, see Mel Miller (comedian).

Melvin H. Miller (born July 24, 1939) is an American lawyer and politician.

Life[edit]

Miller was born on July 24, 1939, in Brooklyn, New York City.[1] He graduated from Brooklyn College and New York University School of Law. He was admitted to the bar in 1964, and is a member of the New York County Lawyers Association. He has taught at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York and at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

He was a Democratic member from Kings County of the New York State Assembly from 1971 to 1991, sitting in the 179th, 180th, 181st, 182nd, 183rd, 184th, 185th, 186th, 187th, 188th and 189th New York State Legislatures. He was Speaker from 1987[2] to 1991. He was responsible for the Fiscal Reform Act of 1990.

Conviction[edit]

Upon being convicted on 8 out of 19 felony charges in the Federal court at Brooklyn, he lost the speakership on December 13, 1991,[3] and was replaced by majority leader James R. Tallon as Acting Speaker until the election of Saul Weprin to the speakership on December 16, 1991.[4]

In the case, which did not involve his work in government, Miller and his Assembly aide and onetime law partner, Jay Adolf, were charged with cheating legal clients out of some of the profits from investments in cooperative apartments. They acknowledged receiving a total of about $250,000 in three deals, but denied defrauding clients. The jury convicted each defendant of six charges of fraud, one of conspiracy and one of using an assumed name, all involving one scheme to secretly buy and resell eight apartments in a Brooklyn building. The jury found that they had deprived their clients of the right to buy the apartments and receive the profits.

Under New York State law, any member of the state legislature who is convicted of a felony is automatically expelled. Miller immediately lost his seat in the Assembly and position as Speaker.[5]

Reversal[edit]

The conviction, however, was later overturned on appeal.[6]

He is now widely recognized as an authority on public finance and the state budgetary process, and as one of the founders of Bolton St Johns, he serves as Senior Consultant to the firm.

Sources[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Sidney A. Lichtman
New York State Assembly
44th District

1971–1991
Succeeded by
Joni A. Yoswein
Political offices
Preceded by
Stanley Fink
Speaker of the New York State Assembly
1987–1991
Succeeded by
Saul Weprin