Queens Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza pulled her Mercedes up to her brick mansion recently after a long day at work.
Her husband and one of her two sons were outside, along with the family's black Lab, Stanley. With the stately manse as a backdrop, the petite, blond lawmaker and her family could have been modeling for an L.L. Bean catalogue.
She told the Daily News the lavish digs were supposed to be "an investment or a second residence." But she signed mortgage documents that specifically state the mansion would be her "principal residence."
When confronted outside the posh pad last week, Carrozza admitted she has lived there full-time since February.
"My primary residence is in Bayside - and we're temporarily renting that out," she said.
Carrozza and her doctor husband own four properties in Bayside - two offices, a home where her mother lives and another residence where the lawmaker is registered to vote.
State legislators are allowed to have second homes outside of their districts as long as they maintain a residence in the district, experts said.
The Bronx district attorney's office is investigating a similar situation involving state Sen. Pedro Espada (D-Bronx). Espada once beat a residency challenge, but authorities decided to take a closer look following his central role in the coup that has deadlocked the Senate.
Carrozza said her family outgrew the Bayside home where she is registered to vote - a modest, three-bedroom house.
"We had a deal on a bigger house in Bayside," she explained. "I made arrangements to rent out my primary residence."
The deal fell through, so they moved to the Nassau County manse, she said, rather than renege on their tenants.
"It wasn't my intention to permanently occupy the home," she added. "We thought we would stay here temporarily."
The mortgage papers Carrozza and her husband, William Duke, signed in June 2008 say otherwise.
"I will occupy the property and use the property as my principal residence within 60 days after I sign this," the document stated. "I will continue to occupy the property and to use the property as my principal residence for at least one year."