Thursday, January 23, 2014

Was Pol Railroaded in Bribe Conviction? Former Aide says ‘Yes’

Was Pol Railroaded in Bribe Conviction?
Former Aide says ‘Yes’

By Robert press

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 23- Letting you know well in advance, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will be holding his “State of the Borough” address on Thursday, February 20th at Hostos Community college 450 Grand Concourse, starting at 11:30 a.m. It is expected that all major elected officials from Mayor Bill de Blasio to each and every Bronx council, member, and some from other boroughs will be in attendance. The only problem with scheduling an event in the winter is the weather. All one has to do is ask Councilman Andy King what bad weather can do, as he had to reschedule his inauguration when a huge snow storm canceled almost everything. I do hope the weather is good for BP Diaz.

The Liberty Democratic Association has scheduled an event for Sunday, January 26th. Since its President is now Councilman Ritchie Torres there is a vacancy for the position of President, and there is also an open position of treasurer of the club. It is quite possible that another position could open up if another officer decides to run for and win one of the two current vacant seats. The election is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. with Liberty's New Year Party starting at 2 p.m. The location is the community room of Janel Towers 801 Neil Avenue, and you can call Joe McManus at (718) 644-1841 or Monica Major at (917) 208-3886 for more information.

On Sunday, February 9th the Bronx Republican Party is having a Lincoln Brunch from 2 – 4 p.m. at Villa Barrone Manor located at 737 Throggs Neck Expressway. This could be the rebirth of the Bronx Republican Party as there are many prominent Republican leaders statewide who are expected. They include possible 2014 Gubernatorial candidate Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, former U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia, former Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota, New York State Republican Party Chair Ed Cox, and many other local and state Republican officials. For more information you can check my blog archive for the listing Republican Brunch or you can go to

State Senator Jeff Klein stopped by the Morris Park Community Association this past Friday for “Bedtime Story Time”. Many pajama clad children listened to Senator Klein read to them from the collection of children's books that were on hand at the MPCA office. You can go to my blog at to see photos of this event including MPCA President Tony Signorile, Vice President Al D'Angelo, and Treasurer Chris Allessandro receiving a check for $250.00 to help subsidize the cost of the holiday lights this past holiday season.

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has announced that for the third quarter of 2013 all tax revenue is down $534 million dollars from the projected totals.

Also down was former State Senate Democratic Conference Leader (in 2010 when Democrats controlled the state senate) John Sampson's cash flow. According to Sampson's January filing his negative cash flow has increased from -$20,283.60 in 2013 to -$40,724.41 in this latest filing. It is also reported that Sampson will face a primary for his state senate seat. It will be a tough year for some in the State Senate this election year as several members have announced that they will be retiring, while others should face tougher than usual primaries. Right now it is anybody’s guess as to just how the state senate will break down Democratic or Republican, and then there is as some loyal Democrats who say and the 4 members of the IDC.

Lastly, I had an opportunity to speak to one of former Assemblyman Eric Stevenson's staffers who said that the former assemblyman was railroaded into the conviction. He said that evidence from Stevenson's lawyer was suppressed, and the staffer claims that government witness, Sigfredo Gonzalez, lied on the stand. As for getting Con Edison to turn on the gas quickly, the normal route of going to the person who works with elected officials was used, and it still took 6 months to get the gas turned on. He also said that he was in the room with the government witness, Sigfredo Gonzalez, when the recording was turned off by Gonzalez. He said that the reason the convicted Russian owners of the day care centers were not called was because they never gave Assemblyman Stevenson any money. He added that the feds got Sifredo Gonzalez when he was caught by them when Gonzalez tried to use former Assemblyman Nelson Castro who was wired by the U.S. Attorney. There was also talk of the Bronx Democratic County organization being a target, and the current and past county leaders also in the sights of the U.S. Attorney, as well as others close to the county leaders. He ended by saying that Eric Stevenson would appeal the conviction on several points.

If you have any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog you can e-mail us at or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.

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