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Let the Battle of Maps Begin
August 30th, 2012

Deliberations over how the New York City Council’s district lines will be drawn for the next decade is getting communities and advocacy organizations into a map-making mood.

One coalition of civil rights organizations released a map today of how they think the Council’s district lines should be drawn to account for shifts in demographics and to protect the voting rights of blacks, Asians and Latinos.

The mapmakers say they followed the U.S. Constitution, the Voting Rights Act and the city Charter to come up with their Unity Map. They also say they sought to protect “traditional and emerging neighborhoods.”

The Unity Map is the work of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, National Institute for Latino Policy and the Center for Law and Social Justice of Medgar Evers College.

Juan Cartagena, president and general counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, called it a “fair map.”

“We must ensure that the Latino community has the opportunity to elect members who will pay attention to their needs and concerns,” he said in a statement.

Many more maps are expected to be forthcoming in the next few weeks from various interest groups as the city’s Districting Commission weighs tough decisions about how to shape the Council lines.

By on August 30, 2012, 4:19 pm
In category: City Hall,Governing | 4 Comments »

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NY Pols React to Shooting at Empire State Building
August 24th, 2012

At least one person was killed and 10 people shot today when a gunman opened fire at the Empire State Building today. The incident will surely spark more debate about preventing gun violence in the wake of the shooting at a theater in Aurora Colorado and at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. A number of New York’s elected officials have issued statements on the shooting.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo:

“Today’s shooting near the Empire State Building is a tragedy for New York City and our entire state. My administration, including members of the State Police, is actively monitoring the situation and working closely with city law enforcement agencies to ensure that the safety of New Yorkers and those visiting New York City comes first. I commend members of the New York Police Department, as well as the first responders and civilians, who acted bravely and took swift action to save the lives of others and prevent this tragedy from becoming much worse. Our state has no tolerance for senseless acts of violence that harm our people, and we will do everything possible to ensure that law enforcement officials have the tools they need so residents of the city and tourists can enjoy everything New York City has to offer without fearing for their own safety and security. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I send my condolences to the friends and family of the innocent victim who died in this attack, and wish those who were injured in today’s shooting a speedy recovery.”

“Today’s shooting near the Empire State Building is a tragedy for New York City and our entire state. My administration, including members of the State Police, is actively monitoring the situation and working closely with city law enforcement agencies to ensure that the safety of New Yorkers and those visiting New York City comes first. I commend members of the New York Police Department, as well as the first responders and civilians, who acted bravely and took swift action to save the lives of others and prevent this tragedy from becoming much worse. Our state has no tolerance for senseless acts of violence that harm our people, and we will do everything possible to ensure that law enforcement officials have the tools they need so residents of the city and tourists can enjoy everything New York City has to offer without fearing for their own safety and security. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I send my condolences to the friends and family of the innocent victim who died in this attack, and wish those who were injured in today’s shooting a speedy recovery.”

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman:

Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent victims of todays tragic shootings and their families. For those of us in government, and in law enforcement, the news of yet another mass shooting so close on the heels of the massacres at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and in Aurora, Colorado, should make it crystal clear that our current laws have failed to protect the public from gun violence. We must redouble our efforts to protect public safety so that New Yorkers dont have to live in fear of the next deadly attack.

Rep. Charles Rangel:
“I am shaken by the news that a man randomly shot at innocent people at the Empire State Building, especially at an hour when many New Yorkers are starting their workday and hundreds of tourists are visiting. My thoughts and prayers are with the innocent victims and the families and friends who lost their loved ones. I hope that those who are wounded will heal quickly and recover from the psychological harm that they endured.
This year, our nation has been plagued by frequent and senseless gun violence that has taken the lives of so many people across the country. These arbitrary shootings are acts of terrorism that are paralyzing our communities. We must unite to focus our policies on enacting stricter gun control laws that will prevent potentially harmful individuals from accessing such deadly weapons. It is the only way to make certain that our communities safer.”
Sen. Michael Gianaris:
My prayers go out for the victims of this mornings horrific incident caused by yet another act of senseless gun violence. It is long past time to fix our gun laws to prevent future tragedies from occurring. To the victims families, stay strong and know our hearts are with you.
By on August 24, 2012, 1:31 pm
In category: Albany,Crime & Safety,Eye on Albany,Governing | Comments Off

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City BOE agrees to use modern tech for tallying votes
July 17th, 2012

Unofficial election night results will now be read from portable memory devices at police precincts, rather than off strips of paper, after a unanimous decision by the city’s Board of Elections earlier today.

The results will then be transferred to the New York Police Department, which will give the data to the press.

Elections Commissioner Juan Carlos “J.C.” Polanco said the new election night process will be in place for the September state and local primary elections.

“This is exciting for us. What it’s going to avoid is the element of human error,” he said, adding that the result would be “incredible accuracy.

The current process involves scissors, tape and calculators, and requires BOE staffers to count votes by hand late into the night.

Problems with the current process were highlighted after the June 26 primary, when unofficial election night tallies showed U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel beating his closest challenger by a respectable margin. Rangel’s lead narrowed over the next few days as it became clear that hundreds of votes had potentially gone uncounted because of the byzantine tallying process. (Rangel still won in the end, even after the votes were accounted for.)

The board was roundly criticized in the press for their handling of the election.

By on July 17, 2012, 6:07 pm
In category: Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Governing | 3 Comments »

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AP: BOE can change election night counting process
July 13th, 2012

The Associated Press is reporting that the city Board of Elections has received a legal opinion from the State Board of Elections that would allow them to change their election night closing procedures without actually changing the law.

As we reported earlier this week, the city BOE is considering changing its procedures so that it can use electronic data from voting machines when polls close to tally unofficial vote counts rather than using the current process that involves using scissors, tape, and calculators and requires BOE staffers to count votes by hand late into the night.

Recent elections, including the Congressional contest between Rep. Charles Rangel and State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, have seen election night totals come in drastically different from the eventual official count. Elected officials like Councilwoman Gale Brewer and Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh want to change the process to avoid a further corrosion of public trust in the election process.

As we reported yesterday, Brewer will be holding a Council hearing on August 8 to look into the recent problems at the BOE.

Brewer has supported a Kavanagh-sponsored bill in the Assembly that would have allowed the BOE to use electronic data. The measure passed the Assembly but failed in the Senate; now it looks like the board can move ahead with the change in process without any official legislation.

By on July 13, 2012, 9:05 am
In category: Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Governing,Law | 1 Comment »

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Council to hold hearing on Board of Elections bungling
July 12th, 2012

While at least one member of the Board of Election wants an apology for the criticism they and their staff faced for their handling of the results of the recent Democratic Congressional primary between U.S. Rep. Charlie Rangel and state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, the board is still facing major scrutiny from elected officials.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced today that Councilwoman Gale Brewer, chair of the Governmental Operations Committee, will be holding a hearing on the BOE on August 8 to examine how to prevent future delays and mishaps.

The Board of Elections inability to accurately tally and report the results of last months Congressional primary in a timely manner threatens the credibility of the democratic process,” Quinn said in a statement. “The problems that came to light on election night raise serious concerns about the integrity of our citys elections that must be addressed. New Yorkers must be able to trust that when they cast a valid ballot, their vote will be counted accurately.”

Brewer, who has been pushing a bill by Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh that would allow the board to tally votes on election night with electronic data taken from voting machines rather than by hand, is anxious to see issues at the BOE addressed.

As anyone who has read a newspaper editorial over the past few weeks is well aware, the June 26 primary was rife with allegations of mistakes and improprieties,” she said in a statement. “I take very seriously any and all claims of malfeasance and voter disenfranchisement.”

The Board of Elections inability to accurately tally and report the results of last months Congressional primary in a timely manner threatens the credibility of the democratic process.
The problems that came to light on election night raise serious concerns about the integrity of our Citys elections that must be addressed. New Yorkers must be able to trust that when they cast a valid ballot, their vote will be counted accurately.
By on July 12, 2012, 1:55 pm
In category: Civil Rights,Governing | 4 Comments »

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Development Corps Illegally Lobbied City Council: AG
July 3rd, 2012

Three local development corporations illegally lobbied City Council members in 2008 and 2009 to promote development projects in Willets Point and Coney Island, the state attorney general says.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman today announced a settlement with the city’s Economic Development Corporation, Flushing-Willets Point-Corona Local Development Corporation and the Coney Island Development Corporation. The settlement included provisions to increase transparency and reduce loopholes through which these organizations lobbied New York City officials. However, no fine or other punishment was meted out.

Members of the groups ghostwrote op-eds and prepared testimony in order to create the appearance of a grassroots movement in favor of development projects they were backing, the attorney general said. Influencing legislation is barred by statute for local development corporations.

These local development corporations flouted the law by lobbying elected officials, both directly and through third parties, to win approval of their favored projects, Schneiderman said in a press release. This agreement will bring greater transparency, and ensure accountability for these and other local development corporations operating in New York State.

The agreement includes mandatory compliance training for local development corporation employees, more public disclosure of interaction between these corporations and reminders that it is illegal to lobby the Council regarding development projects, even indirectly.

The EDC will be restructuring to remove the organization’s local development corporation status to avoid further violations.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation intends to undertake a restructuring, the primary effect of which will be to allow the company to remain a not-for-profit corporation, but to cease to be a local development corporation,” Patrick Muncie, an EDC spokesman, said in a statement. “As discussed with the New York State Attorney General, NYCEDC is currently taking all appropriate steps to effectuate this restructuring.

City Comptroller John Liu described the restructuring as a long time coming.

While these revelations of illegal lobbying are alarming, we cannot say that they come as a surprise,” Liu said in a later release. New York Citys economic development process is in dire need of greater transparency, accountability, and inclusiveness, something EDCs current culture fails to provide.

By on July 3, 2012, 2:29 pm
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Election night results reporting bill passes Assembly
June 21st, 2012

The Assembly passed member Brian Kavanagh’s Election Night Poll Procedure Act today a bill that would allow the state Board of Elections to use modern techniques and digital data to tally un-official results on election night.

The current process involves time consuming hand counts that produce unreliable results.

Public confidence in our elections is eroded when we cant say with any confidence what the results are until long after the voters have spoken, and when the numbers change as clerical errors are uncovered days after the election, said Kavanagh. This bill will improve the integrity, accuracy and speed of this process and take advantage of the best features of the new voting machines.

The bill’s fate in the Senate was not clear at the time of writing. The bill is sponsored in that chamber by Sen. Martin Golden. The bill may have a good chance of passing both houses. The New York City Council, the office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a number of good government groups are backing it.

By on June 21, 2012, 6:37 pm
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Is NY ethics commission leaking?
May 15th, 2012

State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is questioning whether information about an ethics investigation into a top member of his party was leaked illegally.

TheAlbany Times Union reported earlier today that the Joint Commission on Public Ethics is investigating accusations against Tom Libous,the second-highest ranking member of the state Senate.

Skelos, a Republican, said the information was not supposed to be public. “Whoever from JCOPE is leaking this is committing a crime. They’re committing a crime,” hesaid. He said that any allegations against Libous were “garbage.”

JCOPE’s predecessor, the Commission on Public Ethics, was wracked with internal leaks — especially during the Troopergate investigation. JCOPE was designed to address the failings of the CPI and faced controversy regarding the impartiality of a number of appointees.

“Obviously, there is a letter that goes out that is required by law. Look who sent the initial letter, the mayor of Binghamton, D, Democrat, who was looking to run against Tom Libous. If this is a political stunt, that’s all it is,” Skelos said.

Calls to JCOPE requesting information about the process of notifying parties of an investigation have not yet been returned.

Technically, the public is not supposed to know whether JCOPE has decided to follow up on a complaint until the ethics commission makes its findings public.

“It’s not supposed to be made public. It’s a misdemeanor,” Skelos told reporters. “So whoever from JCOPE is leaking this is committing a crime. They’re committing a crime.”JCOPE’s predecessor, the Commission on Public Integrity, had major problems with leaks during Troopergate. The loyalty of the JCOPE commissioners to the interests of the people who appointed them has been a concern since the commission was unveiled.

According to the Times Union, the investigation into Libous is based on a complaint by Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan, a Democrat. Ryan asked JCOPE to look into statements made by Attorney Anthony Magone that Libous offered to help Mangone’s business in exchange for giving his son a job, the newspaper reported. Mangone made the statements during a federal trial. Libous’ son was hired by the firm. Ryan made his accusation and formal complaint public by sending off the complaint in front of reporters.

By on May 15, 2012, 5:13 pm
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Citizens Union Praise Deal, Chide Legislators
March 15th, 2012

Citizens Union and The League of Women Voters New York are out with a press release praising the constitutional amendment that would change the redistricting process. Critics say the amendment codifies gerrymandering. Gotham Gazette is published by Citizens Union Foundation the Citizens Union’s sister organization.

In their joint statement CU and LWV praise the amendment but voice their pleasure about how the vote took place. They thank the Governor and legislation leaders, “for reaching agreement on establishing lasting structural reform to the states redistricting process. Given the long standing resistance to enacting redistricting reform and the high stakes involved, we applaud them in finding common ground on an issue that is at the core of political power in Albany and results in the legislature giving up power in the drawing of lines.”
But note that it came at a price:
“Though this is a substantive victory for reform, it is tarnished because the process that produced this welcomed outcome occurred during a night where in typical Albany fashion nothing was agreed to until everything was agreed to. Achieving reform through middle of the night voting and limited debate on such an important issue is not the way we would have wanted to see redistricting reform realized.”

Here is the full release: Read the rest of this entry »

By on March 15, 2012, 11:50 am
In category: Albany,Demographics,Eye on Albany,Governing | 13 Comments »

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No Presser For Cuomo?
March 15th, 2012

After a typical Albany late night/early morning where a number of major pieces of legislation were rushed to the floor for a quick vote with little or no debate Gov. Andrew Cuomo does not seem to be in a rush to get in front of a gaggle of reporters.

Cuomo’s plan of attack includes two radio appearances–one with his favorite messenger–and a “video message” to New Yorker’s which I assume will be available here later today.

“Approximately 10:07 AM Governor Cuomo will be a guest on Live from the State Capitol with Fred Dicker. The show can be heard streaming live at www.talk1300.com.

Approximately 11:06 AM Governor Cuomo will be a guest on The Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter. The show can be heard streaming live at http://www.wcny.org/temp-stream.html.”

By on March 15, 2012, 10:46 am
In category: Albany,Crime & Safety,Demographics,Eye on Albany,Governing | 3 Comments »

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Deals Done in the Dark
March 14th, 2012

If Albany has changed under Gov. Andrew Cuomo the Senate Democrats haven’t noticed. Debate on the legislation that determines district lines and is supposed to guarantee voter enfranchisement began around 10 p.m. on Wednesday night. Sen. Michael Gianaris, an outspoken critic of LATFOR’s lines and the proposed Constitutional Amendment that will change the redistricting process 10 years from now, pointed out that debate on the important issue began in typical Albany fashion– late at night and after a rush of last-minute deals.

Even the most novice Albany observer knows that legislative leaders tend to come to agreements, brief their conferences quickly and then get the legislators into conference to vote on the deals before support erodes or public opinion solidifies against the legislation.

Gianaris also pointed out that this trend has not changed under Cuomo–the Governor some say has done away with Albany dysfunction. Gianaris further noted that the late-night push on redistricting, legalizing casino gambling, a DNA database, and teacher evaluations came during Sunshine Week–a week set aside to honor transparency in government.

After debating Sen. Michael Nozzolio about the lines and having a testy exchange where Gianaris asked, “Have you no shame?” Nozzolio seemingly joked that Gianaris probably liked the lines that were up for a vote better than LATFOR’s original lines that combined his district with a fellow Democrat. Finally in exasperation Gianaris told Nozzolio that in his mind the lines were equally bad and told Nozzolio he could take them both and, “Shove it!”

Republicans attempted to close debate at 11:36 p.m. Sen. Daniel Squadron objected saying that 2 hours had not passed and debate should continue. Republicans ruled his point was out of order. Squadron appealed to the chair. Sen. Sampson rose and talked about respect and decorum. He mentioned that redistricting happens only 10 years and appealed for more time to debate the legislation. “Where’s the respect and where’s the decorum?” asked Sampson.

By on March 14, 2012, 11:38 pm
In category: Albany,Demographics,Eye on Albany,Governing | 12 Comments »

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Cuomo on Bloomberg's State of the City
January 12th, 2012

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg may not be the best of buds but Cuomo found a lot to like in Bloomberg’s State of the City message–especially the parts about education and pension reform. “I commend Mayor Bloomberg for outlining a positive vision for New York City’s future and the most important part of building that future, our students. The State and City’s education system is facing a crisis in accountability and performance. Our continuing pattern of being number one in the nation on spending in education and thirty-eighth in graduation rates hurts our students across the State, including the over 1.1 million public school students in New York City,” said Cuomo in a statement.

Here is the full statement: Read the rest of this entry »

By on January 12, 2012, 5:26 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany,Gotham City,Governing | 1 Comment »

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Coalition Wants Corporate Tax Loopholes Closed
January 9th, 2012

In Albany today, a group of progressive groups gathered together to call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature to close corporate tax loopholes that they say would raise $1 billion for the state budget this year. The groups that include various Occupy groups, The Fiscal Policy Institute, Citizen Action and others want the money gained through the closing of the loop holes to be used to prevent cuts to services and perhaps even make some restorations. The groups provided a list of what they say are the worst “tax dodging companies” in the state.

Here is a collection of quotes from the group’s leaders. Read the rest of this entry »

By on January 9, 2012, 1:07 pm
In category: Albany,Economy,Eye on Albany,Governing | 5 Comments »

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Quinn on Fingerprinting for Food Stamps
January 5th, 2012

Gov. Andrew Cuomo seemingly went after the city’s policy of fingerprinting people who want access to food stamps in his State of the State Address. The Bloomberg administration has supported the measure as a way to stop fraud and Bloomberg dismissed Cuomo’s statement in a press conference following the speech. Council Speaker Christine Quinn just weighed in via press release and she is taking Cuomo’s side.

In these tough economic times, we need to help New Yorkers get the federal services they qualify for, not put obstacles in their way. Unfortunately, Mayor Bloomberg and I couldnt disagree more fingerprinting food stamp applicants is a time consuming and unnecessary process, which stigmatizes applicants and has prevented 24,000 New Yorkers from getting the help they deserve. The State has the authority to eliminate finger imaging in New York City, and the Mayor should not even think of challenging Governor Cuomos decision.

Cuomo said in his State of the State yesterday that, “One of the things we do now and makes the stigma actually worse and creates a barrier for families coming forward to get food stamps is we require fingerprinting. I’m saying stop fingerprinting for families, said Cuomo.

Bloomberg told reporters, “Its not a stigma, and it may be elsewhere in the state, and maybe thats what he was referring to, but its certainly not a stigma.”

By on January 5, 2012, 4:51 pm
In category: Albany,City Hall,Eye on Albany,Gotham City,Governing,Health,Social Services | 2 Comments »

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Rivera Credits OWS For New Thinking on Taxes
December 1st, 2011

“I believe Occupy Wall Street changed the national dialogue,” said Sen. Gustavo Rivera. “The conversations we were having 6 months ago got no traction. But things have changed because of what the folks at Zuccotti Park Started.”

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is considering altering the tax code so that the wealthy would pay more and the poor would pay less. He was grilled on the subject by NY Post editor Fred Dicker and Cuomo refused to rule out the possibility of a tax hike for the wealthy.

“Ive always believed we need a more progressive tax system,” said Rivera. “I’m glad to hear the Cuomo administration seems to be open to it. We have the greatest economic disparity in New York. The economic gap is as bad as it was was in the depression.”

*Update* Rivera’s spokesperson says Rivera was speaking about OWS’ impact on the national dialogue and not specifically about Cuomo’s new thinking on the tax code. However, his response was to a question specifically about Cuomo’s new thinking.

By on December 1, 2011, 12:44 pm
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The Races for DA
November 6th, 2011

Three of New York City’s five district attorneys are up for re-election this year, but for only one — Staten Island Daniel Donovan — is the contest’ outcome in any doubt.

(For more on who can vote and how this year, go here. For more on the judicial contests, go here.)

Two of the veteran prosecutors, Richard Brown in Queens and Robert Johnson in the Bronx — will appear on the Democratic, Republican and Conservative lines and will not face any opposition.

Brown, who will turn 79 later this month, is headed to his sixth-term.

Johnson, who already is in his sixth term, was the first black district attorney in the state. In a somewhat strange twist, he received a rating of “not approved” by the city bar association this year. Johnson attributed the rejection to his not agreeing to an interview with the association and said he thinks it make little sense for the group to rate candidates in uncontested elections.

“If they think that I have not demonstrated the qualifications to hold this office,” Johnson told Reuters, “they must have been stuck in a cave for the past two decades.”

The bar does not explain or amplify on its ratings although they do not endorse candidates they can’t interview.

The Staten Island race offers a reprise of the 2007race in which Republican Donovan defeated Democrat Mike Ryan with about 70 percent of the vote. Donovan has the backing of the Independence Party too, while — perhaps owing to a long-standing rift between Donovan and Conservative Borough president James Molinaro, Ryan has the Conservative Party line.
Read the rest of this entry »

By on November 6, 2011, 9:58 pm
In category: Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Governing,Law | 6 Comments »

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Here Come the Judges
November 6th, 2011

Occupants for 29 seats on the bench in New York City will be selected Tuesday — at least theoretically. In many cases, though, the primary process and political insiders have filled the posts already — leaving voters with nothing more than the opportunity to ratify the choice.

All candidates for Manhattan judgeships — including places of the state Supreme Court and Civil Court — face no opposition. All have the Democratic Party line; a few also have the GOP nod. In no case, though, have the Republicans — or any other party for that matter — put forth candidate who is not the Democratic standard bearer. In the one judicial race on Staten Island the sole candidate — Acting Judge Joseph J. Maltese — has support from the Democratic, Republican, Conservative and Independence parties.

The contested elections come in Brooklyn and Queens. There are no judicial races — contested or otherwise — in the Bronx.

(For more on who can vote and how this year, go here. For more on the district attorney contest, go here.)

More on the individual judicial races after the jump.
Read the rest of this entry »

By on November 6, 2011, 9:54 pm
In category: Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Governing,Law | 2 Comments »

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A Quiet Election Day
November 6th, 2011

Even by the standards of the off-off-year election — those contests in odd-numbered years when there is no mayoral race — this is a non-election election year.

There are no contested races of any kind in the Bronx or Manhattan, according to the Board of Elections’ lists of candidates. In Queens and Brooklyn, the sole seats up for grabs are judgeships. Only Staten Island residents will have the chance to vote for or against someone they might actually have heard of: Republican District Attorney Daniel Donovan, who faces a challenge from Democrat Mike Ryan. It’s a repeat of their 2007 contest.

(For details on the district attorney race, go here. For more on the judicial contests, go here.)

Sleepy elections occur about once every four years in New York, Unlike the one in 2007, this year’s features no ballot measures, fewer contests for the bench and no particularly high profile ones. As is often the case in general elections in New York City, many candidates including those for some important posts face no opposition.

More voting details after the jump.
Read the rest of this entry »

By on November 6, 2011, 9:39 pm
In category: Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Governing | 7 Comments »

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Fred Dicker's Evolving View of Occupy Albany
October 24th, 2011

In his column this morning NY Post’s Fred Dicker described Occupy Albany protesters as “200 mainly young, hippie-like demonstrators,” but only hours later his view of the group seems to have changed. Dicker, who has acted as a one-man cheer leading squad for Gov. Andrew Cuomo now seems to view the people who are running the group as wealthy “trust-fund baby type people” who are “slender” and “well-dressed.”

The Albany County District Attorney seems less concerned about the protesters and what they look like–he has informed law enforcement officials that he does not plan to prosecute any peaceful protesters –despite Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s push to have them arrested for violating a city curfew.

Meanwhile Occupy Albany seems to be emboldened and driven now that Cuomo has taken notice of them and is annoyed by their presence. A rally involving groups that support the millionaires tax is planned for Thursday.

By on October 24, 2011, 1:46 pm
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Former Bloomberg Aide Found Guilty of Larceny
October 21st, 2011

John Haggerty, the political consultant charged with stealing millions from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign, was found guilty of grand larceny in the second degree and his company was found guilty of money laundering in the second degree.

Haggerty avoided the more serious charge of larceny in the first degree. Haggerty was accused of funneling $1.2 million of campaign cash through the Independence Party to strengthen ballot security but instead used $1.1 million of the money to buy a house.

Bloomberg had to testify on the stand and Haggerty’s lawyers claimed Bloomberg lied and that Haggerty was paid for the work he had completed. Haggerty could face 15 years in prison.

The case is seen as a major victory for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance whose office has suffered major public defeats this year.

By on October 21, 2011, 2:01 pm
In category: City Hall,Crime & Safety,Electoral Politics,Governing | 8 Comments »

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Gotham Gazette is published by Citizens Union Foundation and is made possible by support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Altman Foundation,the Fund for the City of New York and donors to Citizens Union Foundation. Please consider supporting Citizens Union Foundation's public education programs. Critical early support to Gotham Gazette was provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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