By Robert J. McCarthy
At one time the name of James L. Larocca ranked as one of the most recognized in state government.
But though one of the best known Albany insiders, he was never able to capture elective office.
Still, his retirement as a commissioner of the Public Serive Commission -- announced Tuesday -- marks a significant milestone in the career of a top state official who served five New York governors.
like to acknowledge and thank Commissioner Larocca for his dedication and
professionalism, and for the keen insights he shared with the commission and
staff during his four and a half years as commissioner,” said Commission
Chairman Garry Brown.
Larocca, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for governor in 1998, served under Governors Hugh L. Carey, Mario M. Cuomo, Eliot L. Spitzer,
David A. Patterson, and Andrew M. Cuomo. His previous offices included director
of federal affairs, commissioner of the State Energy Office, chairman of the New
York State Energy Research and Development Authority, commissioner of the New
York State Department of Transportation, trustee of the New York Power
Authority, and chairman of the Long Island Power Authority.
He also served on the Commission on Bias-Related Violence, the Commission on Constitutional
Revision, and the Commission on Coastal Erosion.
In addition, Larocca was president of the Long Island
Association, the region’s largest business and civic organization, and as dean
of Southampton College. He is also an award-winning playwright whose play
PENANG was presented off-Broadway in 2009.