The Quid Pro Quo Hezitorial/Op-Ed
YONKERS, NY — May 12, 2021 —Background: Before Yonkers City Council President Mike Khader, Esq. was elected to office over some three years ago, Mr. Khader had been renting office space from the firm of Smith, Buss, and Jacobs LLP (https://www.sbjlaw.com) situated at 733 Yonkers Avenue, Suite 200, Yonkers, NY 10704. Khader Law is also situated at 733 Yonkers Avenue, Suite 200, Yonkers, New York 10704 (http://khaderlaw.com/).
Business Relationship: Khader Law had premises at the firm of Smith, Buss, and Jacobs LLP at the address noted above. Khader Law continues to operate from that same address to this day.
Evolving Relationship: Prior to being elected to office, Mr. Khader rented office space from the firm of Smith, Buss, and Jacobs LLP for the sum of $1,200 per month or $14,400 per annum.
Transitioning Relationship: Sometime before or after elected to the office of Yonkers City Counsel President, the exact timeframe is not known, Mike Khader would come to designate Mr. Buss to the position of the Yonkers City Council President’s Counsel. The remuneration for that position is $70,000 per year.
Seemingly Inappropriate Outcome: Khader Law / Mike Khader, Esq. no longer pays rent to Smith, Buss & Jacobs LLP
Takeaway*: The Yonkers taxpayer is paying the $70,000 per annum fee to Jeff Bus, Esq, and Mike Khader / Khader Law do not pay the $14,400 per annum rent to Smith, Buss & Jacobs LLP
- Quid pro quo is Latin for “something for something”, describing an agreement between two or more parties in which there is a reciprocal exchange of goods or services.
- In politics, quid pro quo agreements are acceptable as long as they do not involve any other misappropriation.
- In criminal law, misappropriation is the illegal use of funds, such as taxes, to pay another entity, for example funds designated for use by the the City of Yonkers.
FINDINGS: Essentially it appears that Mr. Khader, an attorney at law was renting space for his practice from Mr. Buss at the rate of $1,200 a month. It also appears that Mr. Khader hired Mr. Buss to be counsel to the Yonkers City Council President Khader at an annual retainer of $70,000. Finally it appears that upon being hired Mr Khader no longer was paying Mr Buss for office space.
So in essence Mr. Khader reaped a benefit from awarding Mr. Buss a city contract without characterizing this transaction as criminal it appears that there was a quid pro.