Tag Archives: Eliot Spitzer

Queens’ Morning Roundup


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morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy with rain showers. High of 64. Breezy. Winds from the WSW at 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Monday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 39. Breezy. Winds from the WNW at 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Masterworks of Traditional and Contemporary Korean calligraphy

On display at Queens College’s Godwin-Ternbach Museum from Monday, November 18 – Saturday, November 23 are masterworks of traditional and contemporary hangeul calligraphy by Aram, the pen name of the distinguished calligrapher Dr. Yoo Sung Lee. Hangeul was invented in 15th-century Korea. Free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Cops arrest Jamaica man for allegedly beating an off-duty officer

Police arrested one man in connection with a fight in South Richmond Hill that left an off-duty NYPD sergeant brutally wounded early Sunday morning. Read more: The Queens Courier

NY to require better signs for compulsive gamblers

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation to put up better signs at gambling facilities to notify compulsive gamblers where to get help. Read more: NBC New York

Ex-AIG exec wants to see Spitzer’s ‘secret’ e-mails

A former honcho at AIG has filed court papers demanding that Eliot Spitzer be named a defendant in an ongoing case aimed at obtaining secret e-mails the ex-governor may have concerning actions he took against the insurance giant when he was state attorney general. Read more: New York Post

As ban on 3-D printed guns ends, Chuck Schumer seeks an extension

As the technology to print 3-D firearms advances, Sen. Chuck Schumer is seeking to extend a ban on plastic weapons before the federal law against them expires Dec. 9. Read more: NBC New York

1,800 rare US coins sell for $23M in NYC auction

Nearly 2,000 rare American coins amassed over 90 years by a 102-year-old Missouri collector have sold for $23 million at a two-day New York City auction. Read more: AP

James makes history with public advocate win; Stringer elected as comptroller


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photos

The city has elected its new public advocate and comptroller— Letitia James and Scott Stringer.

Councilmember James’ win makes New York City history. As the next public advocate, she is the first woman of color to hold citywide office.

“Yes, this is indeed historic because our government must be representative of all New Yorkers,” James said in her victory speech.

“Although history is important and I am incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished together, what I’m really proud of is of the fact that we ran a campaign centered on progressive ideals and a commitment to New York’s working families,” she added.

James, who faced no Republican in Tuesday’s general election, won with 84 percent of the vote, with 99 percent of the precincts reporting, according to unofficial results.

The November 5 election was the third time voters could cast their ballots for James in the public advocate race.

James placed first in the September Democratic primary with 36 percent of the vote, but it wasn’t enough to reach the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff.

In the October 1 runoff, James, who represents District 35, faced off against fellow Brooklyn politician State Senator Daniel Squadron. She won with 59.4 percent of the vote.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer did have a Republican opponent in the comptroller race, John Burnett, a former Wall Street executive, but easily won with 81 percent of the vote, with 99 percent of the precincts reporting, according to unofficial results.

“I want everyone in this city to know that I will be a comptroller who serves our city with honesty and integrity. A comptroller who listens to the voices of New Yorkers in all five boroughs so that we can work together in shaping the future of this great city,” Stringer said in his victory speech.

Like James, his biggest challenge came in the primary.

Stringer was looking at a guaranteed Democratic nomination until former governor Eliot Spitzer decided to enter the race in July.

Though Spitzer had the stigma of a prostitution scandal that forced him to resign as governor in 2008, initial polls showed him ahead. But in the days before the election, they rightfully predicted a close race. Stringer defeated Spitzer with 52.1 percent of the vote.

Updated 2:05 a.m.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The Queens Morning Roundup logo.

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 54. Breezy. Winds from the WNW at 15 to 20 mph. Thursday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 43. Breezy. Winds from the WNW at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: QSIC at Heart

Long Island City’s Secret Theater and The Queen’s Secret Improv Club present: QSIC at Heart, featuring four teams. The showcase begins at 9 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Report: Spitzer seeks to run for office again

Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer lost his race for city comptroller to Scott Stringer last month, but a published report Wednesday said that does not mean he has any plans to end his political career. Read more: CBS New York/AP

New York’s airports lag in amenities: report

They may be getting some much-needed improvements, but New York’s three airports still aren’t up to snuff when it comes to amenities, according to one local airport advocacy group. Read more: NBC New York

NY pre-K to cost $225 million in year one but that ‘shouldn’t be a problem’: study

As Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota argue over how to raise funds to pay for universal pre-kindergarten, a new report offers a fresh take on how New York City and the state could share the cost of the program. Read more: New York Daily News

Storm-battered communities in NY compete for bonuses

More than 100 New York communities slammed by severe storms and massive flooding in the last two years are all seeking shares of $750 million in federal rebuilding aid and also competing for $3 million bonus grants. Read more: Fox New York/AP

Website contractors blame Obama administration

The principal contractors responsible for the federal government’s trouble-plagued health insurance website say the Obama administration shares responsibility for the snags that have crippled the system. Read more: AP

 

 

Stringer beats Spitzer in comptroller primary


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@Stringer2013

Eliot Spitzer’s comeback failure was Scott Stringer’s political triumph in the comptroller primary Tuesday.

The Manhattan borough president beat the former governor, earning 52 percent of the vote with 98 percent of the precincts reporting, according to unofficial results.

“I will bring integrity to this office. I will bring experience and leadership. I will make sure that I make you proud,” said Stringer in his election night victory speech.

“And to the people of this city as I continue to get to know you, I want you to know I believe that public office can make a difference. I’ve believed that since I was a little kid. I believe it more than ever tonight.”

Stringer was looking at a guaranteed Democratic nomination until Spitzer decided to throw his hat in the ring.

Following on the heels of Anthony Weiner’s political comeback attempt, Spitzer entered the race less than a week before he had to collect 3,750 signatures from registered Democratic voters to make it onto the ballot.

He was able to meet that July 11 deadline with more than enough support.

Initial polls showed Spitzer ahead of Stringer, but in the days before the election, they showed the race was in too-close-to-call.

Though the former governor had the stigma of a prostitution scandal that forced him to resign in 2008, some argued his name recognition would give him an advantage.

But that advantage may not have worked for the polls that matter.

Stringer will go on to face Republican John Burnett, who has worked on Wall Street, Libertarian candidate and activist Hesham El-Meligy, and Green Party candidate and former school teacher Julia Willebrand in the November 5 general election.

In an additional twist to an already interesting election season, another potential opponent was former madam Kristin Davis.

Running as a Libertarian candidate, Davis spent time in jail for running her prostitution business, and said she provided woman to Spitzer, though those claims were never verified.

She was arrested in August for allegedly selling prescription drugs, and reportedly never filed petitions to get on the ballot.

Comptroller primary guide


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo/Photo courtesy of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's Flickr

As the clock ticks closer to city primaries on Tuesday, September 10, The Courier would like to provide you, the reader and the voter, with a fair, detailed guide of who is running. Here is a list of the city comptroller primary candidates, who they are, what they stand for and what they want to continue to do if they go on to the general election in November.

Name: Eliot Spitzer

Party: Democrat

Current Position:  Former New York Governor

Personal Information: Eliot Spitzer began as a prosecutor of organized crime before becoming New York State attorney general in 1998. During his time as attorney general, Spitzer cracked down on the largest firms on Wall Street. In 2006, Spitzer became governor where he helped fully fund New York City schools and reformed state health care delivery to guarantee larger access for working families.

Issues/Platform: As attorney general and governor, Spitzer held Wall Street, big corporations, government and special interests accountable for their actions.  He hopes to continue doing the same as comptroller.

 

Name: Scott Stringer

Party: Democrat

Current Position: Manhattan Borough President

Personal Information: Born and raised in Washington Heights, Scott Stringer graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. In 1992, he was elected into the New York State Assembly, representing Manhattan’s Upper West Side. In 2006, he became Manhattan Borough President where he has raised concern on issues ranging from government waste and mismanagement to creating economic opportunity for New York’s middle class. Stringer has also worked hard for equal rights and opportunities for all New Yorkers. He was one of the first co-sponsors of a 1995 bill to provide marriage equality, he passed landmark legislation protecting victims of domestic violence and helped establish a Manhattan Family Justice Center.  Stringer’s Bank On program helped more than 12,000 “unbanked” people in Manhattan sign up for bank accounts and participate in the city’s economy.

Issues/Platform: According to Stringer, in order for our economy to grow, the city must have a five borough transportation plan to connect residents to developing jobs and housing centers. Stringer has also outlined a plan to create a New York City infrastructure bank for mass transit in order to put the MTA on a stronger financial ground and allow capital projects to expand and update the area’s massive transportation network. He has promoted the integrity and professionalism of the pension fund and has worked to create more comprehensive risk assessment and management and further diversify pension investments to ensure the fund’s long term sustainability.  Scott has also created initiatives to promote greater transparency and accountability in the City budget process and to give New Yorkers a stronger voice in how government spends their tax dollars.

Editor’s Note: Requests for information from the candidates’ campaigns were not received as of press time, therefore this information was retrieved from the candidates’ campaign websites

 

MORE PRIMARY GUIDES

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Partly cloudy. High of 84. Winds from the SW at 5 to 10 mph. Friday night: Mostly cloudy in the evening, then overcast. Low of 72. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Jerks: The Show

This late-night comedy showcase at the Laughing Devil Comedy Club in LIC on Friday, August 30 at 10:30 p.m. features NYC’s finest, most eloquent & lovable jerks. Leave your weak friends at home, as this show will appeal to your darker comedy tastes. As a special bonus, House of Jerky will provide free samples to the audience. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Poll: Spitzer and Stringer locked in dead heat in race for comptroller

A new poll shows a dramatic falloff in support for former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer‘s comeback campaign to become New York City comptroller. He’s now tied with Democratic rival Scott Stringer. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Parts of the Rockaways will be open to swimmers for Labor Day weekend

This holiday weekend, parts of the Rockaways will have something for the first time all summer: swimmers. Read more: NY1

New proposal calls for inter-borough train connecting Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn

Transportation advocates hope New York City’s next mayor will take a fresh look at a bold idea — creating an inter-borough train that would link Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Read more: CBS New York

Mr. Softee takes a hard line on suspected imposter ice cream trucks

Mister Softee is creaming the counterfeiters.The ice cream company is suing four fakers who are pushing ice cream in Queens this summer from vehicles outfitted to look like real Mister Softee trucks complete with blue and white paint jobs, logos and decals. Read more: New York Daily News

NBC poll: Americans skeptical of U.S. intervention in Syria

Fifty percent of Americans say they oppose the United States taking military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad, and nearly eight-in-10 believe President Barack Obama should receive congressional approval before using any force, according to a new NBC News poll. Read more: NBC News 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Mostly cloudy in the morning, then overcast. High of 84. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 66. Winds from the NE at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: In the Mood for Love

The Museum of the Moving Image presents In the Mood for Love as part of a retrospective on Wong Kar-wai, the influential Hong Kong Second Wave filmmaker. This movie chronicles the intense friendship and sublimated desires between two mutually cuckolded neighbors in a tale of passion tragically thwarted. Starts at 7 p.m. Tickets for Friday evening screenings include admission to the Museum’s galleries, which are open until 8:00 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Cops looking for suspect who struck officer in Astoria  

A police officer on patrol in Astoria Thursday night was injured when a vehicle suspected in a robbery struck him as it tried to speed away, according to published reports. Read more: The Queens Courier

Police say attack on interracial couple in LIC not a hate crime

Cops say the attack on an interracial couple in Long Island City this past weekend was not a hate crime. Read more: The Queens Courier

Sandy victims say they’re being scammed by contractors

Some Breezy Point residents whose homes were damaged by water and fire during superstorm Sandy say they’re being scammed by the people they hired to help them rebuild. Read more: CBS New York 

Eliot Spitzer, Scott Stringer argue over credibility in comptroller debate

Manhattan Borough President ScottStringer tried to convince voters that he is the most credible choice for city comptroller, while former Gov. Eliot Spitzer touted his resume in the capital markets during a Democratic debate that grew tense at times Thursday night. Read more: CBS New York

Nasdaq trading halted for 3 hours

A mysterious glitch halted trading on the Nasdaq for three hours Thursday in the latest major electronic breakdown on Wall Street, embarrassing the stock exchange that hosts the biggest names in technology, including Apple, Microsoft and Google. Read more: AP

Bradley Manning becomes Chelsea Manning

By asking to be known as a woman named Chelsea, Bradley Manning has created a host of possible challenges for the military as the soldier began serving a 35-year prison sentence for giving secrets to WikiLeaks. Read more: AP

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers. High of 81. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70% with rainfall amounts near 0.3 in. possible. Tuesday night: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 63. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Gerardo Contino y Los Habaneros

Come see a free live performance by Gerardo Contino y Los Habaneros at Gantry Plaza State Park at 7 p.m. Gerardo Contino was the lead singer for NG La Banda, one of the most recognized salsa and jazz orchestras in Cuba. Since arriving in the US in 2009, he has led his own group. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Spitzer, Stringer get personal at comptroller candidates’ debate

New York City comptroller candidates Eliot Spitzer and Scott Stringer traded heated barbs Monday night in their second debate. Read more: CBS New York

Paul Vallone gets big nod for council seat from former rival Kevin Kim

Politics is again making strange bedfellows. Former Democratic primary rivals Kevin Kim and Paul Vallone, who faced off in the bitter 2009 City Council race, may soon hit the campaign trail together as Kim formally endorsed Vallone for the open northeast Queens seat, the News has learned. Read more: New York Daily News

New institute in Jamaica Bay will study flooding

Queens will on the cutting edge of global warming research thanks to a new think tank unveiled by federal and city officials Monday. Read more: New York Daily News

New York City firefighter accused of strangling, harassing wife

A New York City firefighter is under arrest, facing charges in an apparent domestic dispute with his wife. Read more: ABC New York

CVS requires ID for nail polish remover

One of the active ingredients in nail polish remover is acetone. Read more: Fox New York

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms and a chance of rain. High of 81. Winds from the SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Monday night: Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms and a chance of rain. Low of 72. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Saturday Night Fever

Come to Astoria Park at 8:30 p.m. for a free screening of the movie “Saturday Night Fever.”  Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Package of beauty supplies triggers police, FBI response at JFK

Police and federal agents responded to JFK Airport’s postal facility after two customs agents reported a strange odor coming from a package Sunday, officials said. Read more: NBC New York

Quinn aims to raise the legal dropout age to make sure that a legal adult is making the decision

Kids would be legally barred from dropping out of high school until they turn 18 under a proposal announced Sunday by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Read more: New York Daily News 

New York State cracks down on speeders, other traffic violators

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday announced a weeklong crackdown targeting speeders and aggressive drivers around the state. Read more: CBS New York 

Poll: most New Yorkers embarrassed by Weiner, Spitzer

Even most New Yorkers watching Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer in political races dominated by their sex scandals want to forget about it. Read more: AP

Holder: Some drug offenders shouldn’t face mandatory minimum sentences

Attorney General Eric Holder is directing federal prosecutors to change they way they file charges for some drug crimes, to reduce the number of convictions for offenses that carry inflexible, mandatory minimum sentences. Read more: NBC New York

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High of 84. Winds from the East at 5 to 10 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 70. Winds from the South at 5 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Family Movies in the Park – Glory

Check out a free film screening of Glory, a dramatic account of the Civil War’s first all-black regiment, led by northern white commander Colonel Robert Gould Shaw at Baisley Pond Park at 8 p.m. This movie is based on the idealistic, privileged Shaw’s Civil War letters. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Anthony Weiner stays in race, new campaign ad

New York City mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner has released a new campaign video saying he won’t quit the race. Read more: AP

Advocacy group: MTA fares could jump to $3.75 in a decade

It is only a projection, but an advocacy group warned Tuesday that if the Metropolitan Transportation Authority goes on raising fares as it has the past two times, a single subway or bus ride could cost $3.75 in 10 years. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Queens physician charged with being a Dr. Feelgood, selling Oxycodone prescriptions

A Queens doctor was busted Tuesday for allegedly acting more like a dealer than a healer — taking money for prescriptions for painkillers without examining patients, officials said. Read more: New York Daily News

Coalition formed to oppose Spitzer’s campaign

Business leaders, women’s groups and labor unions have joined forces in an effort to convince voters that former governor Eliot Spitzer would be a poor choice for New York City comptroller. Read more: AP

Montreal-bound American Eagle flight out of LaGuardia makes emergency landing upstate

An American Eagle flight that departed LaGuardia Airport bound for Montreal Tuesday made an emergency landing at an upstate airport after smoke was reported in the cockpit and cabin. Read more: New York Daily News

U.S. military judge to hear arguments in Manning sentencing

The trial of Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier found guilty on 19 counts of handing over classified data to WikiLeaks, is scheduled to move into the sentencing phase on Wednesday. Read more: Reuters

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Partly cloudy. High of 82. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 72. Winds less than 5 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: 35th annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow Wow

The Queens County Farm Museum will be hosting the 35th annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow Wow from Friday, July 26 – Sunday, July 28. New Yorkers are invited to experience intertribal Native American dances that include 40 distinct tribes in addition to Native American cuisine, art, jewelry and craft. Gates open at 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission for adults is $15 for an all-weekend pass and $5 for children ages 12 and younger. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Anthony Weiner sexting partner comes forward

Anthony Weiner said Thursday that he’d traded racy messages with as many as three women since similar sexting forced him out of Congress. Read more: AP

Former Queens City Councilman Eric Gioia slapped with $72,000 fine for violating campaign finance laws

Former Queens city councilman Eric Gioia on Thursday got slammed with a wallet-busting $72,402 fine for violating a slew of campaign finance laws while running for public advocate in 2009. Read more: New York Daily News 

MTA to spend $165 million on 300 new buses

The MTA will spend $165 million to buy 300 new buses that will be manufactured in upstate New York. Read more: New York Daily News

Polls shows Spitzer continues to lead in comptroller race

A pair of polls show that Eliot Spitzer still has a lead in his bid for the city comptroller’s office – but according to one survey, challenger Scott Stringer is well within striking distance. Read more: NY1

Juror says she owes Trayvon Martin’s family an apology

The only minority on the all-female jury that voted to acquit George Zimmerman said today that Zimmerman “got away with murder” for killing Trayvon Martin and feels she owes an apology Martin’s parents. Read more: ABC News

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Overcast with a chance of rain. High of 81. Breezy. Winds from the NE at 15 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Thursday night: Overcast with a chance of rain. Low of 66. Winds from the NE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Waterfront Concert Series 2013

The band Motor City Revue will perform a tribute to Motown at this outdoor concert on the Astoria Park Lawn at 7:30 p.m. Free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

City Council approves 10-year limit for Madison Square Garden

The New York City Council voted Wednesday to limit Madison Square Garden’s permit at its current spot above Penn Station to 10 years — a decision cheered by civic organizations campaigning to move the home of the Knicks and Rangers so the busy station can be renovated. Read more: AP

Weiner sends email to supporters in wake of latest sexting scandal

Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner issued the following letter to supporters Wednesday, a day after revelations that he exchanged graphic emails and photos with a young woman after he resigned from Congress in 2011. Read more: CBS New York

Queens, N.Y., hit-and-run driver speeds away with bicyclist on roof, flinging him off

A motorist callously ignored the pleas of a bicyclist he cut down in Queens, N.Y., early Wednesday — speeding for almost two blocks as the victim clung to the roof, police and a witness said. Read more: New York Daily News

Shirtless man breaches JFK security

A man who wasn’t wearing a shirt reportedly slipped past a secured checkpoint at JFK International Airport. Read more: Fox New York

Woman, child from Oregon used in Eliot Spitzer campaign ad without permission

A campaign ad for former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer that acknowledges his 2008 prostitution scandal with the admission, “I failed, big time,” features a woman from Oregon who did not authorize the appearance. Read more: NBC New York

Senate approves deal to reverse spike in student loan rates

The Senate on Wednesday approved a bipartisan deal to reverse a recent spike in interest rates on millions of new federal student loans. Read more: Reuters 

Queens political hall of shame


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photos

This New York City election season features not one, but two formerly disgraced politicians asking voters to give them a second chance.

Former Congressmember Anthony Weiner, who announced he is running for mayor in May, and former Governor Eliot Spitzer, who launched his bid for city comptroller last week, were both forced to resign after sexual scandals.

They’re not the only ones in the political hall of shame. Here’s a recap of some recent Queens electeds who have been caught in their own scandals.

State Senator Malcolm Smith and Councilmember Dan Halloran

State Senator Malcolm Smith and Councilmember Dan Halloran are still fighting off bombshell accusations they had an elaborate scheme to rig the 2013 mayoral election.

The two were among six officials arrested by the FBI on April 2.

Smith, a registered Democrat, needed consent from three of the city’s five GOP chairmen to run for mayor as a Republican. He allegedly bribed GOP officials to get on the ticket.

Feds say Halloran pocketed nearly $21,000 in cash for setting up meetings between Smith and GOP officials. He also offered up councilmember item cash in exchange for bribes, prosecutors said.

Smith, elected to the State Senate in 2000, was the chair of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) before his power was revoked shortly after the arrest.

Halloran has been the Republican incumbent in Council District 19 since 2009. He was stripped of his committee assignments and ability to allocate funds. He said he would not seek reelection this year.

The two have denied wrongdoing. Their cases are ongoing.

Shirley Huntley

Former State Senator Shirley Huntley was arrested and charged last August with two felonies and a misdemeanor for drafting a fake letter to show that a sham nonprofit group, the Parents Information Network, used a $30,000 state grant for “workshops.”

Despite calls for her to resign following the arrest, Huntley continued with her reelection campaign, but lost her seat to then-Councilmember James Sanders in the 2012 Democratic Primary. She had held the seat since 2007.

Though she initially pleaded not guilty, she pleaded guilty to the charges almost six months after her arrest. In May, she was sentenced to one year and one day in jail plus three years probation.

The same month, it was revealed that Huntley secretly recorded the conversations of elected officials while she was still in office at the request of federal authorities.

Jimmy Meng

Former Assemblymember Jimmy Meng was arrested by the FBI in July 2012 and charged with bribery.

Meng, 69, was the first Asian-American to serve in the New York State legislature. He represented Flushing from 2005 to 2006 and is the father to Congressmember Grace Meng.

Feds said Meng solicited $80,000 in bribes from a state court defendant who had been charged with state tax crimes and sought Meng’s help to reduce the sentence.

Meng was caught red-handed at his Flushing lumber yard accepting a fruit basket filled with cash from the defendant, who was cooperating with FBI agents.

He pleaded guilty last November and served his one month jail sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Dix, New Jersey. He was released on April 18.

Meng is currently serving four months of house arrest and two years of probation. He was also ordered to pay $30,000 in fines and serve 750 hours of community service.

Hiram Monserrate

Former Councilmember and State Senator Hiram Monserrate was sentenced to 24 months in prison in December 2012 after pleading guilty to charges that he misappropriated more than $100,000 in City Council discretionary funding to finance his failed 2006 run for state Senate.

The money was directed to the Latino Initiative for Better Resources and Empowerment (LIBRE), a non-profit in his council district at the time. The discretionary funds, which are drawn from city taxpayer dollars, were used to pay employees of the non-profit to collect signatures, work on his Senate campaign and conduct a voter registration drive.

Monserrate, who was elected to the state Senate in 2008 after eight years in the City Council, was expelled from the seat in 2010 after being convicted of domestic assault on his girlfriend. He lost the subsequent special election to state Senator Jose Peralta.

Anthony Seminerio

FBI agents arrested longtime Queens Assemblymember Anthony Seminerio in September 2008 after an investigation found that he that he took nearly $1 million from hospitals, a school and other entities for actions he undertook as a member of the State Assembly. A grand jury indicted him a month later.

In June 2009, he resigned from his seat after 30 years in the Assembly and pleaded guilty.

He was sentenced in February 2010 to six years in prison.

Seminerio passed away in January 2011 at age 75.

Brian McLaughlin

In March 2008, Assemblymember Brian McLaughlin, a seven-term politician and former head of the New York City Central Labor Council (CLC), pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $2.2 million in funds from people he worked for and served along with numerous organizations.

Those included the CLC, the state of New York and even a number of nonprofits.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Following his 2006 arrest, he left office at the end of the year after serving in the Assembly since 1993.

Alan Hevesi

In December 2006, former Queens Assemblymember and State Comptroller Alan Hevesi pleaded guilty to a class E felony defrauding the state government by using a state employee as a personal chauffeur for his ailing wife.

Hevesi, who resigned as comptroller the same month he pleaded guilty, received the maximum four-year sentence.

After serving 20 months behind bars, Hevesi was released from prison. He will remain on parole until April 2015.

Dennis Gallagher

First elected in 2001, City Councilmember Dennis Gallagher resigned in March 2008 after he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors, admitting that he sexually abused a woman in his office in Middle Village in July 2007 while he was intoxicated.

The victim later filed a civil suit against him.

 

 

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Can politicians comeback after a scandal?


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

When Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer stood in front of the media, admitted their sexual scandals to the public and resigned from office, many believed it was the end of their political careers.

Not only are both men back in politics running for citywide office in New York City, but, according to two recent polls, the Democratic candidates have topped the front-runners in their primary races.

“None of that motivation [to hold political office] goes away because you get caught doing something scandalous,” said Michael Krasner, an associate political science professor at Queens College and co-director of the Taft Institute for Government.

Krasner added that the public tends to be more forgiving of sexual scandals than monetary ones because the former are often viewed as personal matters, compared to the misuse of public money typical of the latter.

But forgiveness may not be the only factor explaining Spitzer and Weiner’s favorable ratings in the polls. Both candidates are benefitting from name recognition, said Krasner.

Yet Spitzer’s high ratings in the polls do not necessarily portend victory on Election Day.

Krasner said Spitzer has made enemies of virtually every interest group in city except for unions. However, many of them have already endorsed Spitzer’s Democratic primary opponent, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

Such groups are the ones who get out the vote during primary elections, Krasner said.

Though Weiner does not have the same problem as Spitzer, Krasner said the former governor’s political bid could hurt his mayoral chances.

Spitzer “takes the spotlight off of Weiner,” he said. “Spitzer’s entry could hurt Weiner because too many politicians are asking for forgiveness.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 95. Winds from the NNE at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the SSE in the afternoon. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 81 with a heat index of 88F. Winds from the South at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the WSW after midnight.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Golden Dragon Acrobats

After an exciting extended run last summer, the Golden Dragon Acrobats return to Queens Theatre more thrilling and daring than ever before! Witness daring feats of balance, spine tingling contortionists and towers of jugglers as the talented acrobats straight from China leave you wanting more! If you missed them last year now is you chance to catch the show that everyone was talking about. Runs July 17-28. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Local business owners, city clash over plans for Willets Point

Just before the start of Major League Baseball’s All-Star game on Tuesday night business owners near Citi Field  protested the city’s plan to shut them down. Read more: CBS New York

Ex-NY Sen. Huntley’s friend gets busted for alleged $85K charity fraud

The president of a Queens, N.Y., nonprofit with ties to former state Sen. Shirley Huntley was charged Tuesday with stealing more than $85,000 in taxpayer money. Read more: New York Daily News 

Obama: Ray Kelly ‘well-qualified’ for DHS post

President Barack Obama says New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly would be “well-qualified” to run the Department of Homeland Security. Read more: Fox New York 

Rivera perfect, AL beats NL 3-0 in All-Star game

Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect eighth inning in his final All-Star appearance, Jose Bautista, J.J. Hardy and Jason Kipnis drove in runs to back a night of pulsating pitching, and the American League beat the National League 3-0 Tuesday night to stop a three-year losing streak. Read more: AP

GOP strategist files objection to Eliot Spitzer’s comptroller petition signatures

Eliot Spitzer is facing a challenge to his bid to get on the ballot in the city comptroller’s race, after a Republican strategist contested the ex-governor’s petition signatures. Read more: CBS New York/AP