Ruth Hassell-Thompson Tag All blog entries tagged as Ruth Hassell-Thompson http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/latest Sat, 22 Mar 2014 13:46:22 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Today's Headlines: Pols Under Investigation Revealed http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/05/09/todays-headlines-pols-under-investigation-revealed http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/05/09/todays-headlines-pols-under-investigation-revealed

Yesterday the names of 9 individuals caught on wiretap by Sen. Shirley Huntley were made public. Six of those individuals were sitting Democratic State Legislators. The list includes already-indicted Sens John Sampson and Malcolm Smith and their colleagues Sens. Jose Peralta, Velmanette Montgomery, Ruth Hassel-Thompson and Eric Adams. Two political operatives were also taped as well as Councilman Ruben Wills. Huntley, who was facing her own legal troubles, invited pols to her home under the ruse that she had a broken ankle and then recorded them. Taped parties reacted in different ways to finding out their names were on the list. Officials said eight one of the recorded parties are under investigation for wrongdoing. Sen. John Sampson was indicted earlier in the week on embezzelment charges and he is just the latest in a long line of state legislators facing federal indicments. Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatened to convene a Moreland Commission if legislators don't pass major elections and ethics reform.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) The Eye-Opener Thu, 09 May 2013 12:15:53 +0000
Who Are the Huntley 9? http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/05/08/who-are-the-huntley-9- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/05/08/who-are-the-huntley-9- Sen. Shirley Huntley was having trouble with the FBI so she called up her colleagues and had them over to her house — to wiretap them.

According to court documents, Huntley was hoping to win favor with prosecutors when it came to her corruption case.

Today a judge unsealed Huntley's sentencing document unveiling a list of those she helped record for the FBI. They include several sitting Democratic Senators, a couple political consultants and a sitting Council member. Prosecutors have indicated that at least one of the people named on the list is not under investigation.

So who are these lawmakers and political operatives?

Lets start with the usual suspects: Sens. John Sampson of Brooklyn and Malcolm Smith of Queens.

Both men at one point headed the Demcoratic conference. Smith became Senate majority leader in 2009 after backroom powerbrokering with Sens. Pedro Espada, Hiram Monserrate, Ruben Diaz and Carl Krueger. When Espada and Monserrate jumped sides to the Republicans (causing the infamous Senate coup that paralyzed Albany for weeks), the pair were lured back to the fold when Sampson was named Democratic Conference leader. When Democrats were returned to the minority in 2010, Sampson replaced Smith.

Last year, Smith joined the Independent Senate Democrats becoming the chair of the conference, seemingly fixing the image problem that they had no minority members. This year Sampson was replaced by Andrea Stewart-Cousins as Minority Leader.

In April, Smith was arrested and indicted in a scheme to bribe his way onto the Republican line for New York City Mayor. Sampson was indicted on Monday on charges including embezzling from escrow accounts he managed as a lawyer to fund his failed run for Brooklyn district attorney.

Then there are the two borough president hopefuls: Sens. Eric Adams of Brooklyn and Jose Peralta of Queens. Adams is running for Brooklyn Borough President while Peralta is running for Queens Borough President.

Adams worked for 22 years as a New York City Police Department office and founded 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement, which advocates for black officers. Adams has been outspoken against racial profiling, stop-and-frisk, and police brutality.

Adams has served on a number of committees through the years and is currently chairing the Committee on Aging despite being a member of the minority conference. He was appointed by the Independent Democratic Conference this year.

Peralta served in the Assembly from 2002 until he won a special election against Monserrate in March of 2010. Peralta has been a major leader on immigrant rights, The Dream Act, and has advocated for gun control and reducing gun violence.

Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson, who represents parts of the Bronx and the city of Mount Vernon in Westchester, was elected to the Senate in 2000. Hassell-Thompson has been very outspoken on the Senate floor and involved in some heated debates. Hassell-Thompson tried to rally support to become minority leader when it was clear Sampson would be replaced but the bid failed.

Sen. Velmanette Montgomery represents parts of Brooklyn and has served in the Senate since 1984. Montgomery has spent time advocated on education and children's issues.

None of the state lawmakers or their representatives immediately responded to Gotham Gazette's requests for comment. However, Peralta's office said a statement was forthcoming.

The two political consultants named on the list are Melvin Lowe and Curtis Taylor.

Lowe is a longtime political operative with links to John Sampson and the Democratic State Senate Committee, as well as the developer of the Atlantic Yards project and Barclays Center. Taylor was Smith's spokesman during the height of the Queens politician's political career a couple years back. Taylor resigned from his post in 2008.

Contact information for Lowe and Taylor couldn't be immediately located.

The only city lawmaker to be named, Councilman Ruben Wills, represents the 28th Council District and was the former chief of staff for Huntley. He told reporters at City Hall today that his attorney assured him he is not the focus of an investigation.

Huntley Wire Document by Nick Reisman

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Wed, 08 May 2013 18:56:17 +0000