Tag Archives: Korean American Times

Assembly candidate Myungsuk Lee won’t battle Post over claims

| mchan@queenscourier.com

Myungsuk Lee headshotw

An embattled assembly hopeful is backing out of plans to confront the New York Post after the major metro paper exposed alleged prostitution ads in his Korean-language newspaper.

Myungsuk Lee, a 40th Assembly District candidate, was dealt a major blow to his campaign when the Post recently reported his paper, the Korean American Times, had published ads for seemingly legal massage services that ultimately served as guises for prostitution.

“The New York Post wrote an article of my newspaper’s back pages — that there are some illegal massage businesses — but it’s not true,” Lee, 49, said. “If you see my newspaper’s back pages, there are a lot of massage businesses on Northern Boulevard and Union Street. They’re all legal businesses.”

Lee said the lewd classifieds in question are located inside the paper, not on the back pages. The candidate, who has already issued an apology, now told The Courier he’s not sure the four or five small ads are in fact illegal.

“I acknowledged it at the time because I trusted the New York Post reporter,” Lee said. “But I called the massage business the New York Post visited and they said they are just a regular massage business.”

Lee said he had plans to send a letter to the Post to request a sit down with the paper’s higher up editorial officials, but the candidate is now postponing delivering the letter until after the election.

“Personally, I want to send a letter to the Post, but my political consultants advised me not to do it,” he said. “It makes it worse.”

The District Attorney’s office said they were “going to confer with the NYPD’s vice squad on the matter.”

Multiple Korean and Chinese-language newspaper reports said Lee intends to sue the Post for defamation and libel, but the newspaper owner denied that accusation.

Meanwhile, Lee — who is vying for the seat currently held by Assemblymember Grace Meng — said he’s hoping for a civil and positive campaign against fellow Korean-American candidate Ron Kim. Lee said he withdrew petition objections against Kim and asked his opponent to do the same.

“It’s bad in the Korean community to fight each other. It makes it very negative,” Lee said.

Pat McKenna, Kim’s spokesperson, said the Queens County Democratic Party verifies all petitions to make sure they conform to election law requirements in a “routine investigation.”

“It is clear that Myungsuk Lee will say anything to distract voters from the fact that he is under criminal investigation by the Queens District Attorney,” McKenna said. “His increasingly bizarre attacks and statements are simply the reflection of a campaign in turmoil desperately attempting to avoid talking about Myungsuk Lee’s shameful record.”

Candidate apologizes for prostitution ads in his paper

| mchan@queenscourier.com

File photo

An Assembly candidate and newspaper owner who is under fire for having prostitution ads printed in his Korean-language paper’s back pages apologized and said the lewd classifieds were a reminder that Flushing’s “quality of life is under attack.”

Myungsuk Lee, a 40th Assembly District hopeful, had published ads for seemingly legal massage services that ultimately served as disguises for illegal prostitution in his Korean American Times paper, the New York Post reported this week.

Lee, 49, said his paper, which places hundreds of ads per week, printed the ads under the impression the services offered were legal in nature.

“Had my staff known these individuals were, in fact, using these ads and services as a front for illegal activities, they would never have been accepted,” said the Flushing resident.

According to The Post, women answering telephones at numbers posted on at least two of the ads offered hour-long massages for $50. They directed callers to the same building as Lee’s publishing and campaign offices — at Prince Street and 35th Avenue in Flushing — where workers then tried to sell a Post reporter sexual services.

“I live in this community. I work in this community. I am raising a family in this community. I am deeply concerned that this type of illegal behavior is happening all around us every day, and part of the reason why I decided to run for office this year was to work to improve the overall quality of life for Flushing residents,” Lee said.

The Assembly candidate, who raised about $82,000 in campaign funds so far, pledged to discontinue the ads and correct the issue in the district going forward.

“We always need to stay vigilant against those [who] will lie and deceive for personal gain,” he said.

Meanwhile, seven other candidates vying for the same seat have filed their petitions and await a Board of Election’s commissioner’s hearing on July 30 that will determine if they have a sufficient number of signatures to make it on to the September 13 primary ballot.

They are Democrats Ron Kim, Martha Flores-Vazquez, Ethel Chen, Yen Chou, John Scandalios and Republicans Phil Gim and Sunny Hahn.

The seat is currently held by Assemblymember Grace Meng, who is heading into a general election for the 6th Congressional seat against Councilmember Dan Halloran.

Queens’ Morning Roundup

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

EVENT of the DAY: SummerStage (Chi-Lites/ Felix Hernandez’s Rhythm Revue)

SummerStage is New York’s largest free performing arts festival. Tonight’s performance features the Chi-Lites, a Rhythm and Blues quartet and Felix Hernandez’ Rhythm Revue. [Click here for more info or submit your events]

UPDATE: Pol’s sex ads rub DA wrong way 

This might not be the political happy ending he hoped for. Queens Assembly candidate Myungsuk Lee, whose Korean-language newspaper runs ads from “massage parlors,” some of which also peddle prostitution, could be in some legal trouble. Queens DA Richard Brown says he’s meeting with his vice squad “on this matter” after The Post yesterday exposed the ads and the massage parlors. Read more: [New York Post] 

Queens manhole fire forces evacuation of shops 

Store owners had to abandon their shops Monday after a manhole fire in Queens. A video showed smoke billowing out of the manhole near 95th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights Monday just after 4:30 p.m. Owners said they had to scramble to get their customers to safety. Read more: [NY1]

Summer scorcher continues: city & suburbs will be feeling the heat again Tuesday 

The Big Apple will be baking once again Tuesday. The hot and sticky temperatures will continue in New York City and surrounding areas over the next few days. Read more: [1010wins] 

Low-wage workers will rally on ‘Day of Action’

Low-wage workers, struggling to make ends meet in New York City, will rally together with community leaders and union organizers on July 24 for a “Day of Action.” Labor heavyweights, including 32BJ Service Employees International Union and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), have embarked on aggressive efforts to organize workers at car washes, supermarkets and area airports. Read more: [New York Daily News] 


Queens’ Morning Roundup

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Qns. state Assembly candidate profits from prostitution ads in his newspaper

A Queens state Assembly candidate who publishes a Korean-language newspaper is profiting from ads for a prostitution ring on the paper’s back pages, The Post has learned. Myungsuk Lee, 49, the owner of the Korean American Times, is one of several Democrats vying for an open seat in the newly created 40th District. He trumpets his accomplishments on the paper’s front pages — while the back pages run ads for massage services that serve as covers for prostitution, sex workers said. Read more: [New York Post] 

Rockaway residents worry beach is getting trashy 

Lauren O’Connor lives near the shore in Rockaway. But trying to get to the sand with her toddler daughter is no easy feat. Once she gets there, the trash on the beach adds insult to injury. “There’s no ramp anymore so I have to somehow get this big wagon down the stairs,” said O’Connor. “Then I get down here and it’s filthy. I have to clean it up.” Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Former Congressman Weiner reportedly eyes political comeback 

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner is reportedly engineering a political comeback, as he still has more than $4 million in his campaign coffers. Sources tell the New York Post that Weiner is considering a run for mayor or public advocate next year. Read more: [NY1] 

Social Security snafu traps Queens woman 

A Queens septuagenarian became entangled in a bureaucratic snafu after an agency deemed her incapable of handling her own money. The unwelcome surprise tarnished her golden years, she says, and should be a cautionary tale for fellow seniors. Forest Hills resident Beverely Byrne said her Social Security check was mistakenly given to the city Human Resource Administration to manage in May under incorrect pretenses. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Mayor: NYCLU does not “do anything” to end need for stop-and-frisks 

Mayor Michael Bloomberg continued to vigorously defend the city’s Stop & Frisk policy during a visit to a church in St. Albans, Queens on Sunday. Speaking at the Greater Allen Cathedral, the mayor said the policy has a proven track record and has recovered thousands of illegal guns over the past decade. Read more: [NY1] 

UPDATE: Con Ed reinstates health insurance for locked-out workers; negotiations to resume Monday 

Consolidated Edison of New York has reinstated health insurance for 8,500 locked-out New York utility workers. A Con Ed spokesman said on Sunday that negotiations with the Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2 will resume on Monday, as another heat wave is expected to hit New York City. Read more: [1010wins]