The State Liquor Authority consists of three Members, or Commissioners. When the Members meet to take an action, or render a decision, they are often referred to as “the Full Board” and the meetings as “Full Board meetings.” The Commissioners of the Authority are nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate for a term of three years. One of the Members is designated by the Governor to serve as the Chairman.
Since 2011 the Chairman is the only “full time” Member of the Authority. The two other Commissioners serve as “per diem” appointees. As a result of their “per diem” status, the two other Commissioners are not subject to all of the restrictions in the Public Officers Law (“POL”) that govern the activity of the Chairman and the staff of the Authority.
Acting together as the Full Board, the Members of the Authority are given certain statutory powers. The two most commonly exercised powers are: making determinations on applications for licenses and permits and taking disciplinary action against licensees and permit holders accused of violating the ABC Law or the Rules of the Authority. Other statutory powers of the Members of the Authority include:
- The ability to impose a moratorium on the issuance of certain types of licenses within the state or a political subdivision of the state;
- Restricting, at the request of a county’s legislative body, the hours of sale in that county; and
- Appointing advisory groups and committees to provide assistance to the Authority to carry out the purposes and objectives of the ABC Law.
Administrative control over the agency rests with the Chairman. The Chairman can perform any administrative duties that are not specifically vested by the ABC Law with the Full Board. Among the powers expressly given to the Chairman are: presiding over Full Board meetings; and prescribing the forms for license and permit applications.
In 2012, amendments were made to the provisions of the ABC Law regarding the respective powers of the Full Board and the Chairman. As a result, certain powers that had rested with the Full Board were shifted to the Chairman. Those powers include: hiring and firing staff; overseeing the Alcohol Training Awareness Program (discussed elsewhere in this document); and the submission of annual reports. In addition, the Chairman’s administrative powers were clarified to include budgetary and fiscal matters.
Chairman Vincent G. Bradley
Vincent Bradley was unanimously confirmed as Chairman of the State Liquor Authority (SLA) on June 24, 2015. As Chairman of the SLA, Mr. Bradley is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the agency. The SLA has two core statutory functions: properly issuing licenses and permits in a timely fashion and ensuring compliance with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law. The Chairman and the Commissioners of the SLA are responsible for creating policy, developing strategy, and directing initiatives that create a regulatory framework designed to efficiently, ethically, and professionally accomplish these functions. The Chairman and Commissioners also ensure the work of the agency harmonizes with the overall strategy and goals set by the Executive Chamber. In addition, the Chairman also presides over all Full Board meetings of the agency.
Chairman Bradley most recently served for seven years as an Assistant Attorney General-In-Charge of the New York State Attorney General's Poughkeepsie regional office. In addition to his role of managing the operations of the regional office and overseeing attorneys and cases, Bradley served as the regional Public Integrity Officer and also conducted investigations involving consumer protection, illegal business practices and fraud.
Prior to joining the Attorney General's office, Bradley served for ten years as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office. During his tenure, Bradley spent three years in the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York investigating and prosecuting narcotics cases and later in the Labor Racketeering Unit of the New York County District Attorney’s Office, conducting complex white collar criminal investigations focusing on the construction and labor industries. While in the Labor Racketeering Unit, Bradley was a member of a team of three prosecutors who investigated, indicted and convicted a New York State Senator for conspiracy, bribe receiving, extortion and other related crimes.
Bradley, formerly a Certified Public Accountant, previously worked as a senior accountant for Deloitte and Touche, as a litigation associate at the New York based law firm Brown & Wood, LLP, and as Assistant Court Attorney for the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 3rd Department.
Chairman Bradley graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor's degree in business administration majoring in accountancy and holds a J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law. Bradley, a native and resident of Ulster County, lives in Kingston with his wife and two children.
Commissioner Lily M. Fan
On June 20, 2018, Lily M. Fan was unanimously confirmed by the New York State Senate as Commissioner of the New York State Liquor Authority. She was reconfirmed in June 2022 to a second term.
Ms. Fan, a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, was born in Hong Kong and speaks fluent Cantonese. She is a New York City resident. She was appointed a member of Community Board 4 in Manhattan in 2015. She served as the Board’s Co-Secretary from 2016 to 2017.
Ms. Fan was previously a lawyer at the law firms of Shearman & Sterling LLP and Morrison & Foerster LLP, specializing in white-collar criminal litigation and securities class actions. She also served as Legislative Counsel for the Standing Committee on Social Services in the New York State Senate in 2010.
Ms. Fan founded Scandobean Productions LLC, a theatrical and film production company, in 2010. She has been involved in numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway productions since. In 2019, Ms. Fan won her first Tony Award as a Co-Producer of the new musical Hadestown. Ms. Fan was previously nominated for an Olivier Award for the new play Hand To God. Ms. Fan’s documentary Weiner also received the U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
Ms. Fan is a Member of the Board of Advisors at the Yale School of Drama. She is the Treasurer to the Board of Directors of The Lillys, an advocacy organization that promotes gender parity on all levels of theatrical production. She is a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee and the National Committee on United States-China Relations.
Senior Agency Staff
Sharif Kabir, Chief Executive Officer -- [email protected]
Sharif Kabir serves as Chief Executive Officer of the State Liquor Authority. In this role, he works with the Chairman, executive team, and agency staff to carry out all agency operational functions. Prior to joining the State Liquor Authority in 2017, Sharif served as Assistant Secretary for Transportation in the New York State Executive Chamber, where he oversaw operations for the State's principal transportation agencies. Before that, Sharif spent nearly a decade at the New York State Senate, as parliamentarian and as a legislative lawyer, focused on transportation, taxes, budget, and economic development. Sharif holds a Juris Doctorate from American University, Washington College of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts in history from Florida Atlantic University.
Shannon Kearney Sarfoh, General Counsel – [email protected]
Shannon Kearney Sarfoh was appointed General Counsel on January 19, 2023. In this role she oversees Counsel’s Office which provides legal support and advice to the agency including the Board, the Executive Team and all other bureaus. She comes to the SLA from the Office of Albany County District Attorney where she had served since 2001, having held the position of Special Victims Unit Chief since 2009. During her tenure there she prosecuted a wide variety of cases including homicide, domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, property crimes, computer crimes and financial crimes. Before joining the District Attorney’s Office Shannon worked at the New York State Assembly. Shannon is a graduate of Siena College and received her Juris Doctor from Albany Law School
Thomas Donohue, Deputy Commissioner of Licensing -- [email protected]
Tom Donohue has served as the State Liquor Authority’s Deputy Commissioner of Licensing since December 2021. He has been with the Authority since 1999, first serving as the chief prosecutor in the Authority’s Albany office, Counsel to the Authority from 2006 until 2010, Special Counsel from 2010 until 2016 and Secretary to the Authority from 2016 until his appointment as Deputy Commissioner. Prior to joining the Authority, Tom was in private practice and also served as an Assistant District Attorney and First Assistant District Attorney with the Columbia County (NY) District Attorney’s Office, First Assistant Public Defender with the Columbia County Public Defender’s Office and Counsel to the Commissioner with the Columbia County Department of Social Services. He is a 1986 graduate of Albany Law School. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and has authored numerous training and guidance documents regarding the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law. He has been involved in the drafting of numerous revisions to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, including the revisions to the winery laws in 2011, the farm brewery law in 2012, the farm cidery law in 2013 and the 2014 New York Craft Act. He was also part of the 2016 Chairman’s Working Group on revising the ABC Law and drafted the resulting legislation that including the changes to the Sunday sales hours for on-premises licensees.
Joseph Finelli, Director of Enforcement -- [email protected]
Joe Finelli has been employed at the SLA for over 23 years coming to the agency in 1999. He received his Peace Officer training at Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia, NY. He was an Albany Zone Investigator for a number of years and went on to become Sr. Investigator in charge of field operations for the Albany zone. Joe then became the Zone Supervising Investigator in 2014 overseeing all aspects of the Albany zone. He took over as Assistant Director of the SLA Enforcement Bureau statewide in 2016 overseeing all zones and went on the become the statewide Director of Enforcement in 2019. He is also a trained General Topics Instructor.
Donald Roper, Secretary to the Authority -- [email protected]
Donald Roper became Secretary to the Authority on January 3, 2022. He came to the New York State Liquor Authority through the New York State Excelsior Service Fellowship Program in September 7, 2018. In corroboration with the Fellowship, the Authority assigned Mr. Roper to the Secretary’s Office and plugged him into various bureaus in need of assistance, including the Licensing Board, Counsel’s Office, and the Hearing Bureau. He is a graduate of Campbell University, holds a Master of Public Administration from North Carolina State University and earned a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.
Michael Matthews, Director of Administration -- [email protected]
Mike Matthews came to the SLA from the NYS Office of General Services (“OGS”) where he served as the Director of the NYS passenger fleet. He was instrumental in reducing both the size of the State fleet as well moving NYS away from its reliance on fossil fuels towards a greener, more environmentally-friendly electric fleet. Prior to OGS, Mike spent time at the Division of the Budget, developing fiscal plans for OGS as well as the State Insurance Fund (“SIF”) working on contracts and procurements. Mike received his Bachelor’s degree in Business from Siena College and his MBA from Suffolk University.
William Crowley, PIO -- [email protected]
Bill Crowley has served as the Public Information Officer for the New York State Liquor Authority for over a decade, where he oversees the agency's public communications. Prior to joining the SLA, Bill held positions at the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, the Executive Chamber, the New York State Senate, and with the New York State Department of Labor. Bill is a U.S. Navy veteran and a graduate of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.
Zone 1 - NYC
Franklin Englander, Supervising Investigator, Enforcement
Zone 2 - Albany
Bart Gottesman, Supervising Investigator, Enforcement
Zone 3 - Buffalo
Gary Bartikofsky, Supervising Investigator, Enforcement