Thomas Ognibene, former Republican Councilman of the 30th District, has died on Monday afternoon.
Ognibene was elected to the New York City 30th Council District — which includes the neighborhoods of Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth and Ridgewood — in 1992 and served as the Council Minority Leader from 1994 until new term limits forced out of the position in 2001.
A Middle Village native, Ognibene was a mainstay in Queens politics. Before being elected, Ognibene helped start the controversial takeover of the Queens County Republican Party, leading to his eventual election.
In 2005, Ognibene challenged then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the Republican primary, a race he lost.
Often outspoken and controversial, Ognibene leaves behind a legacy that has influenced many of today’s politicians and community leaders.
“He was a great leader for the community and a bit controversial when he was in the council,” said Vincent Arcuri, chair of Community Board 5. “He was very outspoken and very capable. Once he got involved with something he didn’t quit until it was done. This is a big loss for the city and for the community.”
Ognibene graduated from C.W. Post College in 1966, served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1970 and graduated from Brooklyn Law School in 1974.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret, and two children, Guy and Eve. Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced. Check The Courier later for updates on this story.