Tag Archives: Joseph Concannon

Retired NYPD captain to launch bid for open City Council seat as Republican

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Facebook/ Joseph Concannon

When he first campaigned for City Council two years ago, retired NYPD Capt. Joseph Concannon ran on the Reform Party line and was trounced at the polls on Election Day by the incumbent, Councilman Mark Weprin.

Now that Weprin is out of the City Council and in with the Cuomo administration, Concannon is going for the now-vacant 23rd Council District seat again, but this time as a Republican.

Concannon is scheduled to formally announce his campaign on Monday, alongside Queens GOP leaders and supporters in front of the 105th Precinct stationhouse in Queens Village.

“Over the past few weeks and months, my close friends and family have been encouraging me to take my zeal for public service and community activism to the next level,” Concannon said in a press release issued Thursday. “Many of my friends as well as the people I meet every day express their dismay with the current leadership in the City Council, our mayor and the direction this city is headed in as a whole.”

While five Democrats are seeking the party’s nomination in the September primary, the Republicans appear to be unifying early around Concannon. Sources with the Queens GOP indicated earlier this week that he is the only Republican seeking the seat.

More evidence of GOP unity was noted in Concannon’s press release, which listed Queens GOP Chairman Bob Turner, Councilman Eric Ulrich — the lone Queens Republican in the city legislature — and Queens Conservative Party Chairman Tom Long as guests scheduled to attend the campaign launch.

In August 2013, Concannon launched a challenge to then-Councilman Weprin after the City Council passed into law the Community Safety Act, two bills bringing greater oversight to the NYPD and aiming to end “bias-based profiling.” Concannon opposed the act, claiming the regulations would impede police officers in their service, and received the support of numerous unions representing members of the NYPD.

Even so, Weprin was re-elected in November with 84 percent of the vote in the district covering all or parts of Bayside Hills, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Little Neck, New Hyde Park, Oakland Gardens and Queens Village.

Since then, Concannon has remained politically active in holding rallies calling for public support of the NYPD, most recently following the murders of Police Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in Brooklyn last December, and P.O. Brian Moore in Queens Village in May.

“Not since the violence and division this city faced decades ago have people felt so disconnected from their government,” Concannon said in Thursday’s press release. “I am running to restore some respect and common sense to our local government, the kind of common sense that is embarrassingly lacking in the NYC Council.”

Concannon added that he plans “to spend the next few weeks and months earning the right to be their voice and champion.”


Queens residents, pols mourn slain NYPD officer

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Joseph Concannon and Square Deal Committee, Inc.


After the death of P.O. Brian Moore was announced Monday, reactions of sadness reverberated across Queens.

“This was an unprovoked attack and cold-blooded murder of Police Officer Brian Moore, one of our city’s Finest, in the line of duty,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz in a statement Monday afternoon. “We deeply mourn this terrible loss. Any attack on our officers is an attack on our society. It is to be condemned in every sense of the word, and the person responsible must be held fully accountable. Our officers deserve the utmost respect for their devotion and the very real dangers they face day in and day out in the selfless mission to protect our city.”

Councilman I. Daneek Miller— who represents Queens Village, where the shooting occurred — said he hopes to work with local law enforcement to keep neighborhoods safe for everyone.

“As a community we mourn the passing of Officer Brian Moore and are appalled by the act of violence that led to it,” Miller said. “Our community looks forward to working with law enforcement to combat violence against our officers and ensure that our streets are safe for all.”

Fellow Councilman Donovan Richards also mourned Moore’s passing and added that a solid relationship between officers and the community is key to ending violence.

“Officer Moore was an exemplary member of the 105th Precinct and will be greatly missed by all those who knew him,” Richards said. “My prayers are with his family, friends and fellow officers during this time of loss. My sincere hope is that we can work to end senseless violence by building meaningful relationships between our communities and the officers that protect us.”

State Senator Joseph Addabbo, who has actively pushed for legislation to eliminate parole for people who kill police officers on duty, said he would continue to fight for this legislation to be passed.

“Police Officer Moore joins the unacceptable number of police officers who were murdered merely because of the uniform they wore,” Addabbo said. “I intend to continue my promotion of legislation that calls for the elimination of parole for those who kill police officers on duty.”

A retired NYPD captain residing in Queens also called for the public to show their support for local police in the days ahead.

“Police officers give of themselves every day to keep our city, state and nation safe,” said retired NYPD Capt. Joseph Concannon, who held a press conference Monday in front of the 105th Precinct stationhouse in Queens Village. “Police Officer Brian Moore of the 105th Police Precinct is a testament to the courage, valor and bravery of the men and women of the New York City Police Department.  We thank his family and friends for his service to the citizens of the city of New York. “

Concannon said he hopes people will observe National Police Week next Wednesday, May 13, by holding vigils outside of their local precincts from 8:30 to 9 p.m. The vigil remembers the 117 police officers nationwide who died in the line of duty in 2014.


Councilmember Mark Weprin faces potential challenger in general election

| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Joseph Concannon’s campaign

Numerous police unions are backing one candidate’s bid to unseat incumbent Councilmember Mark Weprin.

Joseph Concannon, a retired police captain from Bellerose, announced his run for City Council on August 8 — with the full support of several law enforcement groups, including the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA).

“I can assure you I will never risk the safety and security of one New York City citizen at any time at all,” Concannon said.

The PBA pledged in June to invest its full resources to target councilmembers, including Weprin, who voted in favor of the Community Safety Act. The union distributed anti-Weprin leaflets in Bayside in July.

“No councilmember who puts this city at risk will have a free ride in the next election,” PBA president Patrick Lynch said.

Two oversight bills in the act would create an inspector general to oversee the NYPD and allow individuals to sue the city in state court over the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices.

The PBA and Concannon said the bills would increase crime and handcuff police.

“I didn’t pick this fight. I didn’t ask for this challenge,” Concannon said. “I’m afraid that Mark Weprin and all the members have come to this with a very faint heart. They don’t understand the reach of this bill and what it will do to police officers we send out into the street.”

Concannon is planning to make the Reform Party line. He ran for State Senate as a Republican last year and lost to incumbent Tony Avella.

The Detectives Endowment Association, Lieutenants Benevolent Association, Sergeants Benevolent Association and Captains Endowment Association have also endorsed his candidacy.

Weprin stood by his vote, saying the bills would keep the city safe without leading to an increase in lawsuits since there is no monetary incentive.

“Everyone has the right to run,” he said. “I know Joe a little bit. I respect his service to our country and city. I just think that the law is in the best interest of New York City.”

If Concannon collects the 450 petition signatures he needs to make the ballot by August 20, he will face off with Weprin in the November general election.

“The voters will decide in the election,” Weprin said. “Having no opponent would be better, but this is democracy and democracy will run its course.”



Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Tuesday: Overcast with a chance of rain. High of 63. Winds from the NE at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Tuesday night: Overcast. Low of 55. Winds from the NE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Meet the Candidates

St. John’s is holding a Meet the Candidates night from 7 p.m.to 9 p.m. at the Belson Moot Courtroom in the School of Law, where candidates for the New York State Legislature will take part in a public forum to discuss issues of importance to college students and the local community. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

 Grand jury probe likely in shooting

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly on Monday said a grand jury would have to decide whether criminal charges are warranted in the fatal shooting of an unarmed motorist in Queens last week by a detective. Read more: Wall Street Journal

Four teens killed in horrific car crash on Long Island; teen at wheel only had learner’s permit

They died on Dead Man’s Curve. Four Queens teenagers were killed Monday when their car — driven by a 17-year-old with only a learner’s permit — sped off a treacherous stretch of a Long Island highway and wrapped itself around a tree. Read more: New York Daily News

Churches battle liquor store next door

Two churches in Queens are now in the middle of a nasty battle because of what’s in the middle between them. Read more: ABC New York

Residents upset over calls that accuse State Senate candidate of supporting Muslim radicals

Joseph Concannon is a relatively unknown Republican State Senate candidate but he’s created an uproar in the 11th district. Bayside residents like Andy Rothman are crying foul over a Concannon robocall that accuses incumbent State Sen. Tony Avella of supporting Muslim radicals. Read more: NY1

U.S. meningitis cases mount from thousands of patients at risk

More cases of fungal meningitis tied to contaminated steroid shots are expected to be confirmed on Tuesday, U.S. health officials said, and some patients who received the injections may have to wait weeks to know if they are infected. Read more: Reuters

Sandusky to learn sentence in child sex abuse case

Jerry Sandusky will learn what penalty a judge considers appropriate for the 45 counts of child sexual abuse for which the former Penn State assistant football coach was convicted in June. Read more: AP

Northeast Queens political races heat up

| mchan@queenscourier.com

Endorsements are rolling in for candidates making a run for district seats in northeast Queens.

The Queens County Republican Party unanimously endorsed Joseph Concannon for State Senate in the 11th District, where the Republican and retired city police officer from Bellerose will challenge incumbent State Senator Tony Avella for the seat.

In a statement, GOP Chair Phil Ragusa attacked Avella, saying the democrat “by every benchmark has simply failed the community” and “has not lived up to his campaign promises.”

GOP Law Chair Vince Tabone touted Concannon as a “brass tacks kind of guy with the common sense and the intelligence to fight for our community and make a difference in Albany.”

The Queens County Republican Party also endorsed civic leader Ralph Cefalo to run in the 26th Assembly District race, pitting the challenger against Assemblymember Ed Braunstein. According to the GOP, Cefalo — a Malba resident — has a 35-year record of community service, including a long tenure leading the Whitestone Volunteer Ambulance and volunteering with the Order of the Sons of Italy.

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky also recently picked up support from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3, the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, Communications Workers of America District 1 and the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500. Earlier this month, the incumbent since 1999 gained the endorsement of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer for her try at re-election in the newly-formed Asian-American majority 16th District.

Stavisky will face a Democratic primary battle against John Messer, an attorney from Oakland Gardens. The pair battled it out in a primary two years ago before Stavisky beat him out for the seat. If she prevails once more, she will then go up against Republican runner Jung Dong “J.D.” Kim — a Korean-American attorney from Flushing who is also the Queens County Republican Party’s pick.


Candidates eyeing Avella’s seat

| mchan@queenscourier.com


State Senator Tony Avella recently announced his intent to seek re-election, but contenders vying for his 11th District seat plan on giving him a run for his money.

Republican challenger Joseph Concannon has entered the race, while Elio Forcina — who ran for State Assembly in 2010 — said he’s “strongly considering” it.

Concannon, a retired city police officer from Bellerose, told The Courier he “can do a lot more for the district” than the current leader.

“I think I can be more effective, address more of the issues in the area and spur some job creation as well,” he said. “I think in today’s economic environment, people want to work. They want opportunity in front of them.”

Concannon said the incumbent Avella “has not been effective at all in Albany” — a sentiment shared by Forcina as well.

“By many people in the district, they really feel somewhat oppressed by government getting into their business all over the place,” Concannon said. “My legislative agenda is to keep government as small as practical and as effective to relay service to the people of the state who are paying their taxes. I don’t think Avella has been good in that area at all.”

Forcina, a Democrat-turned-Republican from Whitestone, said he would run only if Kimon Thermos — a possible yet unofficial candidate — decides not to.

“I’m very fond of him, and if he wants to run, I’ll be supporting him instead,” said Forcina, an attorney and Marine Corp veteran.

Thermos could not be reached for comment.

Forcina cited Avella’s “immoral and unethical” campaign tactics against candidate Frank Padavan during the 2010 election as part of his reasons for wanting to seek office. He said Avella bashed Padavan for his religious and social views on abortion and gay marriage.

“I didn’t like the way Tony Avella’s campaign treated Frank Padavan. Avella’s message was ‘If you’re Catholic, you’re disqualified for running for public office.’ He attacked him. And because of that, I will support anyone who runs against Avella,” Forcina said.

Padavan, a popular Republican incumbent of 38 years, was ousted from his seat when Avella beat him in the down-to-the-wire race. Both candidates took shots at each other — Avella painted Padavan as a problem the voters sent to Albany for too long and as anti-woman’s rights, while Padavan insisted Avella give back alleged crooked funds provided by the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee while they were under investigation by the Inspector General.

“For that reason, I think Queens needs a Republican up in the State Senate. That made me realize I could no longer be a Democrat. I don’t think Avella is able to bring anything back to his district,” Forcina said. “He gives a lot of press conferences that yield no results.”

Avella said in his announcement that “a great deal” was accomplished during his first term, but that there was still “a long way to go to reform Albany.” He said since taking office, he has “served this district faithfully, both in Albany and in the community, through bi-partisan legislative efforts, an unbridled defense of our neighborhoods from harmful over-development and unparalleled constituent services.” His accomplishments so far, he said, include authoring and introducing more than 50 bills and co-sponsoring more than 200 bills.

The Queens County Democratic Organization did not confirm if any Democratic runners plan on challenging Avella in this year’s primary.

“We’ll see what happens,” Forcina said.