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NYSNYS NEWS INSIDE THE LCA: Odato freelancing for Reuters. Cuomo v. Dicker. LCA show set. Politico reporter joins lobbying firm.
LCA SHOW: Here's the cover of the invitation that went out this week for this year's LCA show -- NYSNYS photo

NYSNYS NEWS INSIDE THE LCA: Odato freelancing for Reuters. Cuomo v. Dicker. LCA show set. Politico reporter joins lobbying firm.

By Kyle Hughes

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 26) -- James M. Odato returns to the Capitol. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's press office teases Fred Dicker about his radio show. The LCA show has a name and rebuttal speakers. Politico/Capital NY reporter joins lobbying firm.


Odato back covering the Capitol

James M. Odato is back reporting on a part-time basis at the Capitol for Reuters. Odato had a long, award-winning career at the Times Union reporting from the Capitol, but left the paper in the wake of stories he wrote about an Albany-area business called NXIVM.

Stories in the paper described NXIVM, which offers self-improvement courses aimed at business leaders, as a cult and a "litigation machine." Subsequently, Odato was one of five people sued by NXIVM. The group claimed Odato and others hacked into a computer system, removing records and proprietary material.

No criminal charges were ever filed, but Odato was on leave for months before finally being terminated. The lawsuit was thrown out in September after a judge ruled NXIVM failed to meet a two year statute of limitations on filing a lawsuit. Neither Odato nor the paper's editors have every spoken about what transpired.

Odato has worked as an adjunct professor of journalism at SUNY Albany. His spouse continues as a senior editor in the Times Union newsroom.

Reuters, the financial news information service, has not had an active LCA reporter in years. Odato's stories can be accessed at


Cuomo v. Dicker

Fred Dicker, the retired LCA reporter and columnist for the New York Post, returned to the Capitol Tuesday for the first day in a long time for his TALK1300 radio show "Live from the State Capitol." He has been broadcasting the show via the Internet from his Florida residence this year. This has not gone unnoticed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's press office.

Rich Azzopardi, a Cuomo press aide, posts cutting remarks and photos about Dicker on Twitter. One photo shows the darkened Post office with the caption "IT'S 10:01 A.M. WHERE IN THE WORLD IS FRED DICKER?"

Tuesday, Azzopardi, who coincidentally was on vacation in Florida, again took a shot at Dicker. "Attn: all prominent radio listeners: I heard SOMEONE might actually be live in the state capital today," Azzopardi posted on Twitter.

Azzopardi's Twitter page background theme visual features Dicker and he uses the hashtag #floridaman when posting about Dicker.

Dicker praised Cuomo when he first took office and had him as a frequent guest on his radio show. But Dicker is now a critic of Cuomo. He opened his Tuesday show with sharp criticism of the the Cuomo administration's denial of permits for the Constitution Pipeline.

"I really hope they sue big time with high powered lawyers," Dicker said of the energy company. "That's the only thing they understand around here -- direct threats going right at their throat."


LCA show rebuttals set

The invitations have gone out for the 116th LCA show dinner and musical satire of New York politics, scheduled for Tuesday, May 24 in the Empire State Plaza Convention Center. This year's show title is "Downton Andy," a takeoff on the hit public TV show "Downton Abbey."

Rebuttal speakers are Assembly member Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford), a candidate for Congress in the 22nd district, and a group of Democratic women Assembly members led by Donna Lupardo (D-Binghamton). The group includes members Didi Barrett, Pat Fahy, Aileen Gunther, Pam Hunter, Barbara Lifton, Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Addy Russell, and Carrie Woerner.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul have also been invited to speak.

Tickets are available in the press room or by calling 518-455-2388.


LCA reporter moves to lobbying firm

A former LCA reporter for Politico has joined the public relations and lobbying firm SKDKnickerbocker.

Will Brunelle is an associate with the firm, according to his Linked In and Twitter profiles. He is a former intern at the TImes Union and Capital New York/Politico. He went full time at Politico from July 2014-August 2015 before a downsizing moved him to freelance for the online outlet.