Joseph A. Griffo, Rome, represents Lewis and parts of Oneida and St. Lawrence Counties in the New York State Senate, a position he’s held since 2007.
Griffo chairs the Senate Banks Committee, which has oversight over bills that fall under Banking Law, the General Obligations Law, the Uniform Commercial Code and Personal Property Law. The goals of committee members include protecting banking customers, providing housing financing opportunities and addressing outdated banking regulations.
Griffo also serves on 10 other standing committees, including Economic Development, Crime, Tourism, Energy, Finance and Higher Education. He is also a member of the Senate Select Committee on Science, Technology, Incubation & Entrepreneurship.
Prior to his election, Griffo was Oneida County executive from 2003 to 2006. His advocacy on behalf of Defense Department-related employment resulted in an increase of more than 600 jobs at Griffiss Business and Technology Park, an unprecedented accomplishment during Base Realignment and Closure Commission Hearings.
Griffo developed an eight-county coalition to fight the development of a statewide power line and, teaming with fellow county leaders, helped convince the state Legislature to reform the Medicaid program that was burdening county budgets.
While county executive, Griffo was elected to the New York State Association of Counties’ board of directors and was a member of the New York State Accreditation Council on Public Safety.
Griffo was elected three times as mayor of Rome, starting in 1991. He protected the local hospital from closure through privitization and helped engineer an economic recovery following the closure of the Griffiss Air Force Base.
Griffo proposed 14 budgets during his tenure as city mayor and Oneida County executive. Ten of those included no property tax increase or lowered it.
Then Gov. George E. Pataki appointed Griffo still serve on a blue ribbon panel on municipal lobbying as well as the state’s Mohawk Valley Heritage Corridor Commission. Former Comptroller H. Carl McCall also picked Griffo for the Comptroller’s Advisory Commission.
Griffo was president of the New York Conference of Mayors from 2000-2001 and was a board member of both that organization and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He also served on the USCOM's Film Task Force and co-chaired the Amtrak Mayor’s Council.
Before becoming mayor, Griffo was an Oneida County legislator, a director of community relations for Rome and an administrative assistant to the mayor. He has belonged to numerous fraternal and service organizations and served on numerous committees and boards.
His public service career started with an internship in Assemblyman James Hurley’s office. Griffo is a graduate of both Rome Free Academy and SUNY Brockport, where he earned magna cum laude distinction while receiving a bachelor’s degree in political science.
Griffo and his wife, Lorraine, an elementary teacher in Camden, reside in Rome.