This Morning’s Headlines

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Graphic by Jay Lane
Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens elections official under fire for soliciting money from a contractor

The city’s Board of Elections has suspended an employee who is a top official in the Queens Republican Party after being notified that he was caught on tape soliciting a $25,000 “finder’s fee” from a company competing for a $65 million contract in 2009, The Post has learned. Several sources said the Department of Investigation provided information to the board that Stephen Graves, first vice chairman of the Queens GOP and a $66,392-a-year board employee, asked for the money from Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems as it was battling rival Elections Systems & Software of Omaha, Neb., to sell the city its first electronic voting machines. Read More: New York Post

‘Gay hookup’ link in French scholar’s Manhattan hotel room death: sources

Cops found gay-hookup Web sites on the laptop computer of a married French scholar whose naked corpse was found in a posh Midtown hotel room, law-enforcement sources said yesterday. Richard Descoings, 53, director of the prestigious Paris Institute of Political Studies — and a friend of French President Nicolas Sarkozy — was “really into men,” his widow told cops, according to the sources. Read More: New York Post

Brooklyn Man Charged With Murdering, Dismembering Roommate

Police charged a Brooklyn man Wednesday with murdering and dismembering his roommate, a day after a jar of bones was found in his Canarsie apartment. By late Wednesday, Sergey Mamonov, 49, seen above center, was waiting to be arraigned on charges of murdering Aleksandr Zilbergleyt, 55. The bones, which sources say were submerged in bleach, were found inside a refrigerator in the two men’s fourth-floor apartment at 3395 Nostrand Avenue in Sheepshead Bay. Read More: NY1


MTA: Crane In Midtown Accident Was Scheduled To Be Inspected This Week

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says a follow-up inspection on the crane involved in the Tuesday’s deadly collapse in Midtown Manhattan had originally been scheduled for Thursday. Transit officials say an inspection in January could not be finished by the Buildings Department, since the crane was in operation at the time. This news came as City Council Speaker Christine Quinn demanded on Wednesday that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, like other state agencies, use city rules for crane use on their projects. Read More: NY1



Boom not examined when crane at MTA site was OKd for use

A half-baked city inspection, slipshod contracting safeguards and mob corruption were key ingredients in the deadly recipe that led to a hardhat’s death under a falling crane at a subway construction site. Investigators suspect a cable on the aging Manitowoc rig snapped and sent two large pieces tumbling down on Michael Simermeyer at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s No. 7 subway extension job site in Manhattan about 7 p.m. Tuesday. Read More: Daily News

Kerbet Dixon, ex-basketball coach at powerhouse Murry Bergtraum, indicted on child porn charges 

A former coach for a powerhouse Manhattan girls basketball team was locked up Wednesday after Queens prosecutors said they found hundreds of kiddie porn images on his home computers. Kerbet Dixon was held in lieu of a $100,000 bond after Queens prosecutors added the child pornography charges to a 307-count indictment that already included claims Dixon raped three underaged girls in his Queens home. Read More: Daily News