Lazio’s 2009 JPMorgan Bonus: $1.3 Million

ALBANY—Rick Lazio, the only declared Republican candidate for governor, received a $1.3 million bonus this year from investment bank JPMorgan, according to his campaign.

Lazio, who since leaving the House of Representatives has served as JPMorgan’s director of global real assets, has raised money from Wall Street in recent months, counting among his contributors John C. Whitehead and Julian Robertson. Wall Street has become a politically dirty term since 2007, when major financial firms led the American economy in a nose dive. (David Paterson, the only declared Democratic candidate for governor, just gave a speech defending the financial services industry.)

“Rick is proud of the work he did at JPMorgan,” said Barney Keller, Lazio’s spokesman, in a statement. “JPMorgan is known as one of the best managed and best run companies in the world, and Rick is excited about taking his knowledge of the private sector and utilizing it for the benefit of New Yorkers. We need sweeping, fundamental change in Albany if we’re ever going to grow jobs and get our economy moving again.”

JPMorgan’s profits are down this year, predictably, but the firm posted earnings in the third quarter of $3.9 billion. The bank took $25 billion from the TARP program in the fall of 2008, which it announced it paid back in April 2009.

Lazio’s $1.3 million bonus was paid early in 2009 for work performed in 2008, when the firm earned $5.6 billion. Lazio took a leave this summer pursuant to his run.

This $1.3 million does not include Lazio’s salary from the company; Keller said that will be disclosed when the candidate releases his tax return “at an appropriate time in the future.”

Candidates for executive offices in New York—governor, lieutenant governor, comptroller and attorney general—are required to file financial disclosure forms with the Commission on Public Integrity upon their nomination. The form requires candidates to declare a broad category with the amount of bonus received, but the category designations are kept from the public.