Physicians’ Reciprocal Insurers, a Long Island company and one of the largest medical malpractice insurance firms in the state, fired its CEO, Anthony Bonomo. Bonomo, a major political player in the state, earned fame as the main witness who cooperated with prosecutors to convict former Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos (Nassau County) for accepting bribes. Those bribes included a no-show job for Skelos’ son with PRI.
According to the state Department of Financial Services, Bonomo mismanaged PRI. The firm focused on selling insurance plans, regardless of whether they made money, and then was tarred because of the negative association with Skelos. They lost $100 million over the last two years while Bonomo paid himself a salary of over $3 million.
If PRI had gone bankrupt, the state would have had to pay its remaining claims, with the cost passed on to home, auto, and business insurance customers statewide. In addition, its customers–doctors and hospitals–would quickly need to find new insurance, likely leading to higher medical prices for New Yorkers.
As an interesting footnote to the story, Gov. Andrew Cuomo named Bonamo chair of the New York Racing Association (which oversees off-track-betting) just days after Bonamo donated to Cuomo’s campaign. Now, Gov. Cuomo’s administration forced Bonamo out of his day job. He left the Racing Association in 2015, after the Skelos scandal broke.