Skoufis hires bipartisan team to staff district and Albany offices

For first time in recent Albany history, lawmaker establishes full-time investigations unit


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State Senator James Skoufis (D-Woodbury) announced he has hired a bipartisan team of individuals to staff the district and Albany offices, serve constituents and assist with Skoufis’ work as chairman of the Investigations and Government Operations Committee.

“I am proud to call these hardworking men and women colleagues of mine,” said Skoufis. “I know them to be individuals of integrity who will always put service to our constituents first before all else. I don’t care if one is a Democrat or Republican or independent, my team will fight for the entire Senate district each and every day.”

Skoufis’ office includes a diverse team of constituent service specialists as well as support personnel. His senior staff is comprised of:

Carlos Valle, Chief of Staff, is native to Orange County and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a minor in Economics from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University at Albany. Valle has worked with the senator since 2013 when he served in the Assembly as his coordinator of legislative and community affairs, and most recently serving as his chief of staff since December 2017.

Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, Legislative Director, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Government from Cornell University and a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University. In his career, he has worked as an elementary school teacher, served on the staffs of Congresswoman Nita Lowey and Congressman Eliot Engel, and is elected as a village trustee in his hometown of Nyack. Most recently, Reichlin-Melnick has worked as a senior research planner at Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress.

Jess Gulotta, Director of Communications, is joining the team after working for a public relations firm on a number of advocacy-based campaigns. She previously worked for Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer doing communications and constituent services. Gulotta graduated from Boston University’s College of Communication with a concentration in women’s studies and led community activism during her time there.

Sara DiBernardo, Counsel, received her law degree from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, where she served as associate editor of the Maryland Law Review. She also earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Maryland. She previously served as a law clerk for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York. DiBernardo will provide significant support to the Senate office’s investigative work.

Michael Mazzariello, Chief of Investigations, is a longtime Orange County resident who brings substantial experience to the Senate office’s investigative unit. He served as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, chief prosecutor for the New York City Board of Education, and as a private practice lawyer in high-profile plaintiff and criminal defense cases. He has also been featured as a legal expert on CNN, MSNBC and Court TV.

Mike Anagnostakis, Senior Advisor, is currently serving in his third term as a Republican Orange County legislator representing parts of the towns of Newburgh and Montgomery, including the Village of Walden. Prior, he worked for 20 years as founder and owner of a securities broker/dealer firm in which he served as the financial and operations principal and general securities principal. Anagnostakis holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from NYU and will assist with investigating financial matters.

“I am deeply honored to join James Skoufis’ team,” said Anagnostakis. “James is an honest and hardworking elected official who shares the same bipartisan values that I hold dear. Together, we will always fight for what’s best for the people we serve – not political insiders or special interests.”




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