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Parkside co-founder Bill Driscoll leaves firm

By Howard Koplowitz

A founding partner of the Parkside Group who has been involved in Queens politics for decades has left the political consulting and lobbying firm for Gotham Government Relations, a Long Island-based lobbying firm.

Bill Driscoll, one of three founding partners of the Parkside Group, which runs a number of campaigns for Queens political candidates, was the former chief of staff to the late Tom Manton, a congressman and Queens Democratic Party chairman, and was counsel to Manton’s successor, U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights).

Some of Driscoll’s Queens clients when he was with Parkside included Queens College and Queensborough Community College, Parkside co-founder Evan Stavisky said.

“We’ve been friends for 20 years and partners for 10, so we wish him well in his new endeavors,” Stavisky said.

He noted Queens College and Queensborough Community College remain Parkside clients.

Driscoll’s departure comes as Parkside is gearing up for its busiest political season, Stavisky said.

He said Parkside is handling former City Councilman Tony Avella’s campaign to unseat state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) and other Senate candidates stretching from western New York to Long Island.

Stavisky said Driscoll had been focused on the lobbying side of Parkside’s business during his latest years at the firm.

Driscoll is one of three lobbyists joining Gotham Government Relations, which has addresses in Manhattan, Albany and Washington, D.C., along with Mark Lieberman and Tiffany Raspberry, who also formerly worked for Parkside.

“All three of our new members have an incredible wealth of experience working at the highest levels of government and as private lobbyists. We are pleased to welcome them into our Gotham family,” Gerstman said in a June 10 news release.

Unlike Parkside, Gotham does not do political consulting. Its clients include insurance giants Allstate and Geico, the New York Tobacconist Association and John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Group and Gristedes supermarket chain, according to its website.

Driscoll, an attorney, also once served as counsel to the Queens County clerk’s office and chief of staff to members of the City Council and state Assembly.

He is a member of the New York State Democratic Committee’s executive committee.

Corey Bearak, a political consultant who is familiar with Parkside, said Stavisky and Parkside co-founder Harry Gianoulis bought out Driscoll’s stake in the firm, but Stavisky would not confirm or deny it.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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