Flanagan’s not alone. Who else has showers at the state Capitol?

Mike Groll for City & State

Flanagan’s not alone. Who else has showers at the state Capitol?

John Flanagan’s taxpayer-funded shower is not unique in the state Capitol
July 24, 2017

John Flanagan spent $24,000 of taxpayer money to build a new shower in the Capitol building in Albany that matched his other shower in the Legislative Office Building, according to The Daily News’ Kenneth Lovett.

But the state Senate majority leader is not the only one with bathing benefits in the Legislature.

While the vast majority of Albany lawmakers are not blessed with a shower in their offices, there are several lucky legislators who can rinse off at will without ever leaving the hallowed halls of the Capitol.

There are a total of four private showers for lawmakers in the Capitol, according to the Office of General Services, which administers construction projects for state government buildings.   

“Three are located in the Senate space – majority leader, president and Senate secretary,” explained Heather Groll, a spokesperson for OGS.

One, as Lovett noted, is the newly constructed shower in Flanagan’s office, but it seems that a second Capitol shower is available to him in the Senate president’s office – an office Flanagan currently holds as temporary president.

The Senate secretary’s shower appears to be at the disposal of Frank Patience, who has held the position since 2011. Unfortunately for the lower house, the only remaining shower in the Capitol building is “in the Assembly area, but is not operational,” Groll noted.

On the ninth floor of the Legislative Office Building, there are five more private showers belonging to lawmakers – in addition to the four men’s and four women’s showers in the building’s fourth-floor gym – but the OGS could not say who those showers belonged to.

The story begs comparison to other tales of politician-customized showers. President Lyndon B. Johnson was obsessed with renovating the White House shower to match the one at his private residence, historian Kate Andersen Brower told Vanity Fair. Her book, “The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House,” noted that the president apparently spent extravagantly to create a special shower, complete with extra nozzles to spray down his nether regions with water pressure “the equivalent of a fire hose.”

When asked about the new shower, a spokesman for Flanagan’s office declined to comment.

Frank Runyeon
Frank G. Runyeon
is City & State’s senior reporter. He covers state politics and investigations.