Shirley Huntley Tag All blog entries tagged as Shirley Huntley http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/latest Tue, 15 Jul 2014 06:50:23 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Today's Headlines: Feds Approve City's Sandy Recovery Plan http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/05/10/feds-approve-citys-sandy-recovery-plan http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/05/10/feds-approve-citys-sandy-recovery-plan

The City's plan for spending federal disaster recovery aid has been approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The first $1.7 billion in federal funding will be released this summer. Most of the funds, $648 million, will go to repairing homes and strengthening them against future flooding. There is also funding for low income rentals subsidies, city infrastructure and loans for businesses. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and HUD secretary Shaun Donovan are scheduled to announce the plan's approval today at City Hall. Those looking for grants will be able to apply by calling the city's 311 help line or by going to nyc.gov.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) The Eye-Opener Fri, 10 May 2013 11:48:58 +0000
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
Legislators React To Being Wiretapped http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/05/08/legislators-react-to-being-wiretapped- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/05/08/legislators-react-to-being-wiretapped- “I am confident that the authorities will find, if they have not already done so, that I have engaged in no wrongdoing whatsoever,” state Sen. Jose Peralta said in a statement in response to revelations that he was one of nine people wiretapped by convicted Sen. Shirley Huntley.

Sen. Eric Adams and Councilman Ruben Wills both made statements saying they were not being investigated or not aware of any investigations.

Peralta's statement does not make the same claim.

“I have not been contacted about any investigation. I believe deeply in transparency and the pursuit of justice — and that is why I committed 20 years of my life to law enforcement,” Adams said in a statement. “I am more than willing to help with any investigation.”

You can see video of Wills' statement here.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Wed, 08 May 2013 21:02:21 +0000
NYC Councilman Ruben Wills Responds To Huntley Wiretap [VIDEO] http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/05/08/nyc-councilman-ruben-wills-responds-to-huntley-wiretap-video http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/05/08/nyc-councilman-ruben-wills-responds-to-huntley-wiretap-video City Councilman Ruben Wills' name appears on a list of wiretapped politicians in a sentencing memorandum for former state Sen. Shirley Huntley. Speaking at City Hall after the court document was unsealed today, Wills said his attorney assured him that he is not the focus of a corruption investgation. Here's a video of his comments.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Wed, 08 May 2013 19:40:58 +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
State Legislature To Get Scandal Holiday? Assembly Cancels Session For Ethics Training http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/05/08/state-legislature-to-get-scandal-holiday-assembly-cancels-session-for-ethics-training http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/05/08/state-legislature-to-get-scandal-holiday-assembly-cancels-session-for-ethics-training The State Legislature seems to be a in rush to get out of town.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon SIlver has cancelled today's scheduled session. "Why?" you ask. Well, for ethics training of course!

Sort of. The Assembly has been scheduled to undergo ethics training today for sometime but the session was going to go on later in the day.

However, it was decided the ethics training could run late.

Meanwhile, the Senate has called off session for Monday and Tuesday citing the Jewish Holiday Pesach Sheni.

It just so happens that later today a judge is set to reveal the names of six elected officials who were caught on wiretap in conversations with convicted former Sen. Shirley Huntley — elected officials who may very well face criminal charges.

Sen. John Sampson was indicted earlier this week for embezzeling cash from mortgage escrow accounts to fuel his failed run for Brooklyn district attorney.

Sampson is just the latest in a line of legislators to be indicted on federal charges this year.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Wed, 08 May 2013 15:55:26 +0000
Today's Headlines: Pols Under Investigation To Be Revealed http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/05/08/todays-headlines-pols-under-investigation-to-be-revealed http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/05/08/todays-headlines-pols-under-investigation-to-be-revealed

The names of elected officials secretly recorded by disgraced ex-State Sen. Shirley Huntley will be revealed this afternoon, thanks to a judge's ruling. Nine were recorded and eight are under investigation. Six of those being investigated are politicians, including Sen. John Sampson, who was arrested earlier this week. One of the charges Sampson faces is embezzling $440,000 from sales of foreclosed properties, and this has revealed a flaw in the way foreclosed homes are being handled. State officials are now looking at how the problem could be addressed. Sampson had tried to plant a mole in the Brooklyn DA's office to find out if he was under investigation, but that mole turned out to be an informant. His arrest may further dampen Democrats' chances at controlling the chamber.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) The Eye-Opener Wed, 08 May 2013 12:07:22 +0000
Judge: Wiretapped Legislators' Names Can Be Revealed http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/05/07/huntley-indictment-shows-sky-is-falling-for-numerous-legislators- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/05/07/huntley-indictment-shows-sky-is-falling-for-numerous-legislators- A judge has ruled that the names of eight people who spoke on wiretaps with former state Sen. Shirley Huntley can be made public tomorrow.

Huntley, who pleaded guilty to funnelling tens of thousands of dollars in public money to a bogus charity that she operated, wore a wire for federal prosecutors for several months last year.

What makes Huntley's case so interesting is that prosecutors are arguing that the names should not be released because doing so could compromise ongoing investigations. Six of the eight people Huntley spoke to while wearing a wire are elected officials.

Judge Jack Weinstein wrote in his ruling that he isn't worried that revealing these names will ruin any cases.

"Every legislator who has conversed with this defendant will necessarily assume that he or she wasrecorded under the supervision of the FBI," he wrote. "There will be no surprises to the potentially accused by the revelations of their names. Interference with ongoing investigations will be of almost no significance."

Weinstein also wrote off concerns that revealing the names could taint elected officials before they are convicted of any crime.

"The argument that some may avoid lending their talents to public life in order to avoid its slurs has slight weight," he continued. "Since this country’s beginning, when Jefferson, Hamilton, Burr, and others began developing the art of American politics, anyone who entered the arena of government has understood that his or her good name may be unfairly sullied. Yet, the honor and excitement of serving the public has not inhibited our best people from entering the fray of politics."

Earlier this week, Sen. John Sampson was indicted on embezzelment charges and faces 120 years in prison. Sen. Malcolm Smith was arrested in a corruption scheme to bribe his way onto the Republican ticket for NYC mayor in early April. Assemblyman Eric Stevenson was arrested for taking bribes for legislation only a few days later. Assemblyman Vito Lopez is being investigated for numerous accusations of sexual harassment. And Assemblyman William Boyland faces fresh charges in what seems to be a neverending line of indictments for the troubled legislator.

Come tomorrow we could get a better idea of who is going to soon join the list of legally troubled leigslators.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Tue, 07 May 2013 21:08:12 +0000
Sanders: Quinn Should Bring Paid Sick Leave to Vote http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/08/31/sanders-quinn-should-bring-paid-sick-leave-to-vote http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/08/31/sanders-quinn-should-bring-paid-sick-leave-to-vote New York City Councilman James Sanders Jr. is imploring Speaker Christine Quinn to bring a stalled paid sick leave bill to a vote. "There is nothing harder to stop than an idea whose time has come," the councilman said in a recent interview with the Gotham Gazette.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Fri, 31 Aug 2012 00:44:00 +0000