Graft is a weekly podcast exploring and exposing the systemic corruption, waste and abuse that infect New York's political and governmental institutions.
Co-hosts Flip Pidot and Jim Coll chat with elected officials, party leaders, investigators and reformers, to understand what makes New York such a hotbed of crookery, and to arm you to be part of the solution.
Jim (left) and Flip (right)
Having begun his career as a fraud investigator and forensic accountant, Flip notched a few years as a cog in the political machine - as a nominee for State Senate, GOP district leader, New York County committee member, and executive committee member of the Metropolitan Republican Club. Upon casting the lone dissenting vote in the tie-breaking county's decision to grant Mayor Bloomberg a free ride to the nomination for a 3rd term shortly after Bloomberg quit the party, disillusionment with party machinery began to set in.
In the decade since, while focused mainly on raising a young family on Long Island and minding his business in the private sector, Flip has been part of several political reform efforts in Glen Cove, Nassau County and beyond. His exploits have included insurgent primary challenges for city council and U.S. Congress (both of which wound up in protracted litigation brought by incumbents and party picks displeased with being subjected to the democratic process), a ground-up resdesign of the Glen Cove City Charter (rebootglencove.com), and an independent investigation into what turned out to be a $50 million Ponzi scheme by federal fugitive Norman Hsu, illegally funneling money to dozens of state and federal elected officials (including the 44th President, the almost-45th and at least two of the candidates planning to become the 46th).
Most - though not all - of the scammer's beneficiaries returned their ill-gotten campaign cash and Flip's investigation was covered by The Wall Street Journal, NY Post, SF Examiner, Washington Times, Politico and Michelle Malkin’s bestselling Culture of Corruption.
Flip is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a graduate of Notre Dame and Darden (UVA) Business School. He lives in Glen Cove with his wife and three rambunctious boys, Charlie, George, and Henry.
Jim Coll comes from a family dedicated to public service. Like his father and brother before him, he joined the NYPD in 1997 and was most recently assigned to the department’s tactical and rescue Emergency Service Unit. Jim is an adjunct professor of American and Constitutional history at Hofstra University and Nassau Community College.
In 2013, in an effort to bring his passion for engagement about the importance of good government to places outside of the classroom, he founded ChangeNYS.org, a not-for-profit dedicated to promoting civic education and political reform in our state. Jim has led hundreds of discussions relating to how government functions and, more often, how it should.
Jim was named Cop of the Year for the role of his squad in the USAirways Flight 1549 landing on the Hudson River. In January of 2010, he was deployed to Haiti with other members of NYC’s joint NYPD/FDNY FEMA Urban Search and Rescue team to provide assistance following the earthquake that devastated the nation. In the summer of 2017, he and other NYPD/FDNY FEMA team members were deployed to Houston, Texas, during Hurricane Harvey to assist with rescue operations.
Jim has been a technical advisor and has appeared in numerous episodes of Law and Order, Blue Bloods, Third Watch and countless other television shows.
In spite of a multi-faceted life, Jim is proudest being the father of his two children, Kate and Robert.