Friday, July 1, 2016

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Indictment Of Political Consultant Steven Pigeon And Guilty Plea Of State Supreme Court Justice John A. Michalek

  Supreme Court Justice Michalek Pleads Guilty To Felony Bribe Receiving And False Filing
Schneiderman: Anyone Who Breaches The Public Trust Will Be Held Accountable By My Office
    Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the unsealing of an indictment charging political consultant G. Steven Pigeon, 55, with Bribery in the Second Degree, a class C felony; Bribery in the Third Degree, a class D felony; Grand Larceny theft by extortion in the Third Degree, a class D Felony; and six counts of Rewarding Official Misconduct in the Second Degree, a class E felony. Pigeon was arraigned today by the Honorable Donald F. Cerio, Jr. Bail was set at $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond.
Schneiderman also announced the guilty plea of John A. Michalek, 65, a New York State Supreme Court Justice, in connection with the same alleged scheme, for receiving bribes from Pigeon, and for filing a false document with the New York State Office of Court Administration when he appointed a receiver who had been suggested by Pigeon. Michalek [pronounced MIKE-uh-lik] entered a guilty plea yesterday afternoon before Hon. Donald F. Cerio, Jr., in Erie County Supreme Court to two felonies, including Bribe Receiving in the Third Degree, a class D felony, and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony.  In addition to entering the plea, Michalek submitted a letter of resignation to the Chief Administrative Judge, effective immediately.
Today’s charges stem from an ongoing public corruption investigation by the Office of the Attorney General.
“As we allege in today’s indictment, Steve Pigeon engaged in a multiyear scheme to bribe a sitting state judge in an effort to win access and favors for his clients and associates,” saidAttorney General Schneiderman. “I will not stand for this kind of brazen contempt for the rule of law and the interests of everyday New Yorkers. Anyone who breaches the public trust will be held accountable by my office. Our investigation is ongoing.”
Pigeon is alleged to have provided benefits to Michalek—including box seat tickets to Sabres games and a ticket to a $1,000 per head fundraiser—and agreed to help Michalek attempt to secure an appointment to the Appellate Division of the New York, in exchange for Michalek violating his duties as a judge. As alleged in the complaint, Michalek and Pigeon engaged in ex parte communication, during which time Michalek provided Pigeon confidential insight, and the opportunity to provide confidential input, into matters before the court. Those matters included active litigation in which Pigeon had an interest.
According to the complaint, during the course of their relationship, Michalek also appointed a Pigeon associate to a lucrative receivership. Michalek allegedly selected an attorney of Pigeon’s choosing to serve as a receiver, when that person was not on a court issued list of qualified receivers.  In order to appoint that person, Michalek filed a document with the Office of Court Administration where he falsely claimed that he required that attorney’s expertise in handling that receivership. 
The indictment also charges Pigeon with Grand Larceny by Extortion in relation to that appointment, by alleging that Pigeon illegally extracted an illegal $5,000 consulting fee from the same Michalek-appointed receiver.
According to the complaint, the communication between the two men shows that Michalek also sought Pigeon’s assistance in obtaining employment for one of his relatives and in seeking an appointment to a government position for a second relative. 
Assistant Attorney General Susan H. Sadinsky of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Bureau and Assistant Attorney General Diane M. LaVallee of the Attorney General’s Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau are prosecuting this case under the supervision of Public Integrity Bureau Chief Daniel Cort and Deputy Bureau Chief Stacy Aronowitz.  The investigation was handled by Supervising Investigator Richard Doyle and Investigator Brian G. Ross of the Investigators Bureau, which is led by Deputy Chief Antoine Karam and Chief Dominick Zarrella, Senior Investigator of Major Crimes Christopher Weber of the New York State Police and Senior Agent Brian A. Burns of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Senior Analyst Robert Vanwey of the Attorney General’s Office also worked on the investigation.  The Attorney General’s Office thanks First Assistant United States Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. and Assistant United States Attorney Joseph M. Guerra, III, Chief, Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office of the Western District of New York for their work on the case. The Attorney General’s Office also wants to thank the New York State Board of Elections Division of Election Law Enforcement and Chief Enforcement Counsel Risa Sugarman for their assistance.  Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan leads the Criminal Justice Division.
The charges against the defendants are accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Club KRVC - Magic with Adam Next Sunday, July 10th

Sunday July 10th 3 PM
You must have a ticket - visit

Assemblyman Mark Gjona - Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day! 

We would like to wish you and your family a happy and safe Independence Day weekend!

  In the wise words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, "In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved." For this 4th of July, let us all come together to celebrate another year of freedom.
We are proud to call this truly rich and beautiful country our home.
~ Mark Gjonaj & Staff

Keith Wright - It's Now Time To Serve

  Now, it is time to serve.

 We left everything on the battlefield. Yesterday, with Congressman Rangel and many community leaders in attendance, I congratulated Senator Espaillat on his historic win in NY-13.

 Now it's time to focus on the fight for more affordable housing, criminal justice reform and more and better paying jobs for our neighbors. It's about unity and continued progress for the people. This race has always been about the community. 

 Since day one, the confidence of so many has been humbling and inspiring. Simply put, without you we would not have been able to run a race that pushed the envelope and heightened the conversation surrounding these important issues. I want to express deepest thanks for all of the support and encouragement you've shown me throughout this journey.

Thank you,

Keith L.T. Wright

Bronx LGBTQ Center - Bronx Pride Saturday July 16th

Assemblyman Dinowitz Secures $125k for the P.S. 7 Playground

  New York State Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz announced he secured a $125k capital grant to modernize and improve the playground at P.S. 7, the Milton Fein School in Kingsbridge. The announcement was made at P.S. 7’s 5th grade graduation, where Assemblyman Dinowitz awarded the grant to P.S. 7 Principal Frank Paterson.

“I am very excited that I was able to secure this money for P.S.7,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz. “Every year P.S. 7 is exceedingly generous when it comes time my office’s Annual Holiday Canned Food Drive, and I am pleased to give back to this incredible student body. Playgrounds like this one in Kingsbridge serve a great need in our community as they provide a safe and entertaining place for our children to play in the heart of their own neighborhood, which is exactly why the importance of investing in our schools and parks cannot be overstated. I look forward to seeing this project completed in the near future.”

Adam Clayton Powell - Thank you for your support

  Now that the dust has settled in the campaign for the 13th Congressional District, I just want to say Thank You.  I truly appreciate your support!
The results of Tuesday's election were not what we anticipated but we certainly gave it all we had.  I lost the election but I gained a number of friends as we campaigned in every corner of this congressional district.  We visited senior centers, greeted commuters at all 47 train stations in this district, walked the streets and attended dozens of debates, forums and community meetings.
Tuesday night I congratulated Adriano Espaillat on his historic victory and yesterday he invited me to his meeting with Assemblyman Keith Wright and Congressman Rangel.  We all need to work with him to tackle the problems and concerns of the residents of Northern Manhattan and the Northwest Bronx.
Many have asked me: "Adam, what's next for you?".  Not much will change.  I will continue doing what I have been doing since I left the State Assembly six years ago.  I am a Government Affairs Consultant specializing in all matters relating to -- but not limited to:  Dept of Buidings & FDNY permits, Consumer Affairs licenses, State Liquor Authority applications, etc.  I also consult with a security company and with an energy efficiency company.  So my plate is full for now.
I don't know if running for office is in the future.  Certainly I've had enough titles in my life, and don't need another one to be somebody.  I am somebody.
Again, thank you for all you did during the last few months.  We all benefited from your involvement in this democratic process.
All the best & enjoy your weekend,

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Bravo for Assembly - Statement on Puerto Rico Debt Bill


"I am thrilled that during the 11th hour, Congress finally passed a bi-partisan bill to provide relief to the Puerto Rican government so it can better manage and deal with its $70 billion debt. While the bill is not perfect, and significant hurdles still remain, it will buy time with the hope that with additional oversight and support of the federal government, Puerto Rico will come up with a plan to restructure its debt and establish a more fiscally responsible budget that puts it on firmer financial footing for the future."

Candidate Jaamal Bailey Endorsed By State Senator Ruth Hassel-Thompson for 36th SD

  As you can see in the photo above 36th State Senate District candidate Jaamal Bailey is flanked by current 36th State Senator Ruth Hassel-Thompson and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. The endorsement took place on the steps of the Mount Vernon City Hall.  Senator Hassel-Thompson praised candidate Bailey for his excellent work in the 83rd Assembly District, and said that she wanted to leave the senate district with a person that she knows will care for all parts of the senate district. She compared candidate Bailey to herself when she ran for the state senate 16 years ago. Candidate Jaamal Bailey became a little nervous when a heckler started to shout at the endorsement, but quickly recovered to show that he could handle many different situations, and that he would fight for the entire 36th State Senate district.

Above - 36th State Senator Ruth Hassel-Thompson explains why she chose candidate Jaamal Bailey as her replacement.
Below - State Assembly Speaker carl Heastie tells of the fine work that candidate Jaamal Bailry has done in his job in the assemblyman's office.

36th State Senate candidate Jaamal Bailey stand proudly on the Mount Vernon City Hall steps between current 36th State Senator Ruth Hassel-Thompson, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, both of whom have endorsed his candidacy for the 36th State Senate.

Reception in Support of Mark Gjonaj

You Are Cordially Invited to 
A Reception in Support of 
Mark Gjonaj's Re-Election Campaign
for New York State Assembly
80th Assembly District
Monday - July 11, 2016
6:00 pm- 9:00p m
F&J Pine Restaurant 
1913 Bronxdale Avenue
Bronx, NY 10462

Please click HERE to download contribution form

For those who cannot attend, contributions can be mailed to:
Friends of Mark Gjonaj
2018 Williamsbridge Road
Bronx, NY 10461

For more information, please contact 347-671-4355 

~ Thank you for your continued support! ~

Statement from Senator Adriano Espaillat

   “I am proud to stand with Congressman Rangel, Assemblyman Keith Wright, other leaders and elected officials who ran for Congress in the 13th District. As we work to ensure that every vote is counted, we must also begin the task of preparing for the next congressional term. The people of this district are facing several challenges, and we must stand united to address them."
   The statement was given today at Sylvia's. 


  Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has appointed Hon. Douglas McKeon, Administrative Judge for Civil Matters for the Supreme Court, 12th Judicial District, to the board of directors of BronxNet, the borough’s public television station.

“Judge McKeon has a wealth of knowledge not only about our legal system but about our borough, as well. He cares deeply for the borough he serves, and I know that his talents will help guide the mission of BronxNet in meaningful ways. I look forward to working with Judge McKeon and everyone at BronxNet as we document the positive changes we are seeing in The Bronx,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“Bronxites need to feel that their courts and the legal system are living forces that touch our community and improve the lives of people.  BronxNet has been a pioneer in producing programs that educate our citizens about the law, their rights and foster access to Justice.  I’m honored and excited that the Borough President has asked me to assist in this worthwhile effort,” said Judge McKeon.

“Judge McKeon is recognized as an innovator with big ideas who has solved systemic problems through innovation and inspired leadership. BronxNet and its Board of Directors are honored to welcome Judge McKeon to our distinguished leadership team,” said Paul T. Gentile, Chairman of the BronxNet Board of Directors.

Judge McKeon currently serves as the Administrative Judge for Civil Matters for the 12th Judicial District, which covers Bronx County, and is the Statewide Coordinator for Medical Malpractice Matters. In 2013, he also served as Administrative Judge for Criminal Matters, during which a Veterans’ Court was established in The Bronx, and a significant reduction of aged cases was achieved.

A lifelong Bronxite and a resident of Pelham Parkway, Judge McKeon graduated from Lehman College and New York law School cum laude, where he attended the evening division while working full-time.

On the bench, Judge McKeon has handled numerous high-profile cases, including the civil case against French diplomat Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Alex Rodriguez’s medical malpractice action against the New York Yankees, and the civil settlement of the Happy Land fire, among others. He is also a frequent lecturer and author on a wide variety of legal topics, as well as a adjunct professor at the Fordham University School of Law.

Judge McKeon is married to Zalena McKeon. They have three daughters and two granddaughters.

BronxNet is the independent not-for-profit organization serving the people of the Bronx through the provision of media production training, access to technology, and cable television channels. BronxNet’s ultra-local programming helps connect the Bronx with the world while our training programs and partnerships are a part of community development through media.

Judge McKeon will join BronxNet’s other distinguished board members, including Dr. Roscoe Brown, Kenneth Knuckles, Nick Lugo, Myrna Rivera, Peter Joseph, Madaha Kinsey-Lamb, Jean Hodge, Michael Heller and John Collazzi. 


By Robert Press


   There is no edition of the Bronx Voice this week for the 4th of July weekend, but here are a few items that would have been in today's column if there was a paper.
   Tonight June 30th at Orchard Beach is the Annual 4th of July Bronx celebration with a huge fireworks display courtesy of State Senator Jeff Klein and Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr.
    On to the 13th Congressional race to replace Charles Rangel. it was an interesting race for the seat of retiring Congressman Rangel, and there was a lot of politics that went into the race. One would have thought that Manhattan Democratic County Leader Keith Wright was the heir apparent to Congressman Rangel. After all Assemblyman Wright should have replaced Sheldon Silver as Speaker of the State Assembly. Some say that a deal was struck with then Bronx Democratic Leader Assemblyman carl Heastie to make Heastie the speaker in return for the Bronx Democratic County organization support in the 13th Congressional race for retiring Congressman Rangel's seat.
    A lot happened on the way to the congressional primary however. The race wound up with nine candidates, which many thought would favor the candidate of the Manhattan and Bronx County organizations as well as the choice of retiring Congressman Rangel. This was also the third time that State Senator Adriano Espaillat was running for the congressional seat, having lost the two times before to incumbent Rangel. So what happened on the way to Washington for Assemblyman Wright?
   The endorsements came in early for Assemblyman Wright, and it looked like he would receive the majority of the votes. However I predicted that candidate Wright would not receive more than 35 percent of the vote. That came to be a fact as wright garnered just about 35 percent of the vote, so what went wrong. 
   As the race was winding down the last two weeks it seemed to many that candidate Wright was coasting to what was viewed as a slim margin of victory. Candidate Espaillat was going into high gear as the election grew near receiving endorsement after endorsement each day. There seemed to be splits in both the Manhattan and Bronx county organizations and even in some so called Bronx families or political clubs. Ruben Diaz was supporting Candidate Wright, but Ruben Diaz was supporting candidate Espaillat. How could that be you say? Ruben Diaz Jr. with the Bronx Democratic County organization were supporting candidate Wright. Ruben Diaz Sr., with what appeared to be State Senate Democrats were supporting candidate Espaillat. It seemed to be the State Assembly Democrats against the State Senate Democrats at one point with candidate Espaillat getting defectors from the assembly side. 
    Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj was a big supporter of candidate Wright, and the only Bronx A.D. won by Wright was Gjonaj's 80th A.D. However Gjonaj's good friend and partner in the North Bronx Democratic Club State Senator Jeff Klein was on Team Espaillat. Candidate Espaillat began the election with only the support of State Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assemblyman Victor Pichardo. Winner Espaillat in his victory party was surrounded by several state senators, assembly members from Manhattan and the Bronx, and several city council members from Manhattan and the Bronx also. 
    So why did Keith Wright lose? I believe it was a combination of factors including the coasting of the campaign the last two weeks of the election. The very poor showing of candidate Adam Powell was a contributing factor as may thought Powell would be the deciding factor in a Wright victory with candidate Powell garnering around 10 percent of the vote. That did not happen as Powell received only 6 percent of the vote, and was invisible in the Bronx especially in the 78th A.D. where his main support came from the current 78th A.D.  Assemblyman Jose Rivera. Clyde Williams was not the deciding factor as he received about the same amount of votes he did in 2012. Suzan Johnson Cook however received 4 percent of the vote which would have gone mostly to candidate Wright. So there you have it - The very poor showing of candidate Powell, and the small percentage candidate Johnson Cook received seem to have made the difference in allowing State Senator Adriano Espaillat to become Congressman Adriano Espaillat. 
   Lastly, at the beginning of the 13th Congressional race this year candidate Espaillat said to me, 'This year is going to be different, I am not running against an incumbent', That may have also been an important reason he won. We are going to have to see if heads roll in the Manhattan and Bronx Democratic County organizations, as there have been rumors that Manhattan Democratic County Leader Keith Wright, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Bronx Democratic County Leader Marcos Crespo are mad as hell in this defeat of both organizations.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Bronx Democratic County Committee - Upcoming Events

U P C O M I N G   E V E N T S
 Dear Bronx Democrat,
Below is a list of upcoming events. Attached you will find flyers for each event.
Bronx Dems' Annual Dinner
When: Wed. 7/13/16 from 6 - 10p
Where: Marina del Rey - 1 Marina Drive, Bronx, NY
Join us as we recognize great honorees for their commitment to the Bronx. 

For more information, call (347) 956 - 0320 or email
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Reception for District Leader Gregory Delts, 77AD
When:  Wed. 6/29/16 from 6 - 9p
Where: Sam's Soul Food - 596 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY

Please join Bronx Democratic Party Chairman Marcos A. Crespo for a reception supporting District Leader Gregory Delts.

For ticket information, please see flyer.

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Citizenship Preparedness Training
When:  Wed. 6/29/16 from 6p - 8p
Where: Featherbed Lane Presbyterian Church - 141 Featherbed Lane, Bronx, NY

Rep. Jose Serrano, Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., State Senator Jose Serrano, Assemblymember Latoya Joyner, Council Members Fernando Cabrera and Vanessa L. Gibson invite you to participate in the New York State Citizen Preparedness Corps Training Program. 

All participants must register in advance

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Fireworks Extravaganza
When: Thurs. 6/30/16 from 7 - 9:30p
Where: Orchard Beach
You're invited to the Bronx's annual Independence Day celebration New York Salutes America, presented by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and State Senator Jeff Klein. There will be entertainment and food, as well as a beautiful, synchronized fireworks display. 

For more information, visit
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Reception for CM Vanessa Gibson
When: Mon. 7/11/16 from 6:30 - 8:30p
Where: Wall Street Humidor - 18 Warren Street NY, NY
You are cordially invited to join a reception to honor NYC Council Member Vanessa Gibson. All contributions made payable to "Gibson 2017" and can be mailed to PO Box 286975, 1617 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10128.

For more information, contact Dan Kadin, or call (929) 266 - 4624.
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In solidarity,
Hon. Marcos A. Crespo, Chair
The Bronx Democratic County Committee
1640 Eastchester Rd.