Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Governor Hochul Updates New Yorkers on State's Progress Combating COVID-19 - NOVEMBER 30, 2021

 Clinical specimen testing for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) at Wadsworth Laboratory

80,880 Vaccine Doses Administered Over Last 24 Hours 

41 COVID-19 Deaths Statewide Yesterday

 Governor Kathy Hochul today updated New Yorkers on the state's progress combating COVID-19. 

While we're entering a vulnerable time this winter when the chance of spreading COVID-19 is higher, the good news is that we are not defenseless," Governor Hochul said. "Vaccinations are safe, free, and readily available for all New Yorkers. If you plan to spend time with your family this holiday season, plan to get vaccinated, and get the booster shot if you're already vaccinated. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and protect yourself and your loved ones."

Today's data is summarized briefly below:

  • Test Results Reported - 130,366
  • Total Positive - 6,593 
  • Percent Positive - 5.06%
  • 7-Day Average Percent Positive - 4.19% 
  • Patient Hospitalization - 2,992 (+163) 
  • Patients Newly Admitted - 386 
  • Patients in ICU - 567 (+11) 
  • Patients in ICU with Intubation - 303 (-1) 
  • Total Discharges - 215,445 (+208) 
  • New deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS - 41 
  • Total deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS - 46,527

The Health Electronic Response Data System is a NYS DOH data source that collects confirmed daily death data as reported by hospitals, nursing homes and adult care facilities only. 

  • Total deaths reported to and compiled by the CDC - 59,177

This daily COVID-19 provisional death certificate data reported by NYS DOH and NYC to the CDC includes those who died in any location, including hospitals, nursing homes, adult care facilities, at home, in hospice and other settings.

  • Total vaccine doses administered - 29,764,056 
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 24 hours - 80,880 
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 7 days - 537,632 
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose - 85.8% 
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series - 78.3% 
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) - 90.8% 
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series (CDC) - 80.7% 
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose - 74.1% 
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series - 66.5% 
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) - 78.1% 
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series (CDC) - 68.4%

Permits Filed For 130 East 177th Street In Mount Hope, The Bronx


Rendering of 130 East 177th Street, courtesy of Marin Architects

Permits have been filed for a 12-story mixed-use residential building at 130 East 177th Street in Mount Hope, The Bronx. Located between Morris Avenue and Grand Concourse, the interior lot is two blocks south from the Tremont Avenue subway station, serviced by the B and D trains. FHMC Inc, a third-party real estate and financial arm of The Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, is listed as the owner behind the applications.

The proposed 123-foot-tall development will yield 55,987 square feet, with 52,597 square feet designated for residential space and 3,390 square feet for community facility space on the ground floor. The building will have 78 residences, most likely rentals based on the average unit scope of 674 square feet. The steel-based structure will also have a cellar, six enclosed parking spots, and a 41-foot-long rear yard.

Minkuk Kim of Marin Architects is listed as the architect of record. A rendering reveals a pale concrete massing with an even grid of windows along East 177th Street-facing elevation, as well as several stepped setbacks for private outdoor space. The rooftop also appears to have a terrace although it is not clear if its communal or private.

Demolition permits will likely not be needed as the lot is vacant. An estimated completion date has not been announced.

Bronx House Menorah Lighting

Bronx House Menorah Lighting 

By Robert Press

It was a chilly Tuesday afternoon as the sun was about to set starting the second night of Chanukah. The giant Bronx House Menorah was to be lit in the street on the side of the building. Many people gathered including Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez, and Councilman Mark Gjonaj. 

After Rabbi Pewzner explained the history of Chanukah, each elected official was given a chance to speak, DA Clark said the light is to take away darkness, Assemblywoman Fernandez said that Chanukah is one of her favorite holidays, Councilman Gjonaj mentioned that this will be his last menorah lighting here as an elected official, and Senator Biaggi said she is anxious to hear the children from the afterschool program sing. 

Rabbi Pewzner explains the history of Chanukah as the elected officials listen.

Rabbi Pewzner asked the elected officials to flip the switch on this electric menorah to light the middle light that is used to light the other lights on the menorah.

While it may seem that other lights are on, only the center light is lit.

Only the middle light, and the two lights on the right are lit for the second night of Chanukah, after Rabbi Pewzner said the Chanukah prayer.

The children who attend the Bronx House afterschool program sing some Chanukah songs such as Dreidle Dreidle.

Cryptocurrency Trader Pleads Guilty

 Damian Williams, the United State Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the guilty plea of JEREMY SPENCE, a/k/a “Coin Signals,” a cryptocurrency trader who solicited over $5 million from more than 170 individual investors for various cryptocurrency funds that he operated, after making false representations in connection with these funds. SPENCE pled guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Jeremy Spence, a/k/a, ‘Coin Signals,’ admitted today to luring investors to his cryptocurrency investment scam by touting fictitious historical returns of up to 148%.  In reality, Spence’s investments consistently lost money, and his scam left investors with a $5 million loss. The bourgeoning cryptocurrency market can be attractive to investors; however, investors should be aware of the inherent risks, including the risk of fraud.”

According to the Indictment and the Complaint filed in this case, and statements made in open court:       

From November 2017 through April 2019, SPENCE solicited investors in various cryptocurrency investment pools that SPENCE had created and managed (the “Funds”). SPENCE solicited investments for several Funds, the largest and most active of which were the Coin Signals Bitmex Fund, a/k/a the “CS Mex Fund,” the Coin Signals Alternative Fund, a/k/a the “CS Alt Fund,” and the Coin Signals Long Term Fund. Investors who wanted to participate in a Fund would transfer cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, to SPENCE in order for SPENCE to invest it. 

SPENCE solicited these investments through false representations, including that SPENCE’s crypto trading had been extremely profitable when, in fact, SPENCE’s trading had been consistently unprofitable.  For example, on January 28, 2018, SPENCE posted a message in an online chat group falsely claiming that his trading of investor funds over the past month had generated a return of more than 148%. As a result of this misrepresentation, investors transferred additional funds to SPENCE. In fact, over that same period of approximately one month, SPENCE’s trading resulted in net losses in the accounts in which he traded investor funds.

To forestall redemptions by investors, and to continue to raise money from investors to fund his scheme, SPENCE generated fictitious account balances, which he made available to investors online. Instead of accurately reporting the trading losses SPENCE was incurring, the account balances falsely indicated to investors that they were making money by investing with SPENCE. To hide his trading losses, SPENCE used new investor funds to pay back other investors in a Ponzi-like fashion. In total, SPENCE distributed cryptocurrency worth approximately $2 million to investors substantially from funds previously deposited by other investors. 

SPENCE, 25, pled guilty to commodities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.  The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

SPENCE is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date by Judge Kaplan.

Mr. Williams praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and thanked the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which brought a separate civil action.  

Attorney General James Fights Discrimination Against Transgender Students in Schools


AG James Leads Coalition in Filing Amicus Brief Challenging Florida School District Policy Prohibiting Transgender Students From Using Bathrooms Corresponding With Gender Identity
  New York Attorney General Letitia James today continued her fight against transgender discrimination in schools. Co-leading a multi-state coalition of 23 attorneys general, Attorney General James filed an amicus brief in the case Adams v. School Board of St. Johns County, in support of Drew Adams, a transgender male who was prohibited from using the boys’ bathroom at the school he attended because of a school board policy in St. Johns County, Florida. Adams is arguing that the school board’s policy of prohibiting him from using the boys’ bathroom violated his constitutional rights under the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, as well as his rights under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. 

“Transgender students deserve to feel safe and respected at all times, especially at school,” said Attorney General James. “Denying transgender students access to the correct bathroom cultivates a culture of intolerance and is blatant discrimination. This lawsuit is about more than just equal bathroom access — it is about eliminating unfair treatment of non-cisgendered students across the nation. Drew Adams should have never been discriminated against and the continued efforts to discriminate against transgender students is exactly why our coalition will do everything in our power to ensure they are provided with equal protection under the law.”

The brief — filed in the en banc phase of proceedings before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit — supports Adams in his lawsuit against the St. Johns County school board for violating Title IX, as well as the Equal Protection Clause. Adams was prohibited from using the boys’ bathroom at Nease High School in Ponte Vede, Florida while he was a student, although Adams is recognized as male on both his birth certificate and his driver’s license, has undergone surgery to conform his body to his gender identity, uses the men’s bathroom wherever he goes except at school, and was treated as a boy in every way at school except for which bathroom he was allowed to use.  

Attorney General James leads the coalition of attorneys general in arguing that the experiences of states involved show that policies that are inclusionary of transgender people lead to significant individual and societal benefits without jeopardizing student safety or privacy. This includes policies allowing transgender students to use sex-segregated bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.

Previously in this case, in February 2019, Attorney General James co-led a coalition in filing an amicus brief in the panel phase of proceedings before the same court, arguing in favor of Adams.

Today’s action is just the latest in a long list of measures Attorney General James has taken to protect transgender students across the nation. Last month, Attorney General James led a coalition of 20 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in the case Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, opposing the plaintiffs’ efforts to bar transgender students from participating in gender-segregated school sports in Connecticut.

In December 2020, Attorney General James co-led a multi-state coalition in submitting an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Hecox v. Little, in support of a challenge to an Idaho law that barred female transgender students from participating in any public school or public university-sponsored female sports.

In November 2019, Attorney General James successfully co-led a coalition of attorneys general in the fight to support the rights of transgender students to use bathrooms in line with their gender identity in the case Gavin Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The court ruled, in August 2020, that the Gloucester County school board violated the former student’s constitutional rights.

Joining Attorney General James in filing today’s brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, HawaiĘ»i, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

33 Days and Counting


What am I doing here today? I cut my media availability down to only two days, so I have to remember those pesky reporters can only bother me with questions about COVID, the new variant Omicron, when am I going to announce that I am running for Governor, or other questions I don't want to answer.

I need to meet with my advisors to see what my chance of getting elected governor is, or should I try to replace Lieutenant Governor Benjamin since he has problems with previous campaign finances. He should be an anchor around Kathy's neck to bring her down, and maybe lose if she doesn't have a popular second banana. No I am not going to be happy being the second banana, but the last two governors left office before their terms ended, and maybe Kathy could make it three in a row.

Video, Audio, Photos, & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul Holds COVID-19 Briefing

 Governor Hochul: "We talked about this variant. We know it's coming. But here's the good news, we're not defenseless. Compared to a year ago we have so much at our disposal. Anyone over age five can get vaccinated. And if you're vaccinated, you can get the booster shot if you're over the age of 18, we are recommending highly that people wear masks indoors."

Hochul: "We are targeted but always have the tools to be able to deploy more widely if necessary. I know this is how we're going to come out of this with a stronger economic recovery, not to have shutdowns where shutdowns are not necessary, not to have unnecessary requirements where they're not needed, but making sure that any area that is showing vulnerabilities and we see a trajectory that is not good that we're deploying the resources intensely in a strategic way to make sure that we're doing everything that we have at our disposal and making sure that we leave no stone unturned in terms of protecting the health of New Yorkers."

 Good afternoon, everyone. I understand technical corrections have been made so we're all set, sorry for the delay in getting started. I hope you all had a magnificent Thanksgiving holiday with your families. It was great to be able to gather in person. My family was fully vaccinated and fully boosted, so I felt very secure with them and it was great to see my father who I hadn't seen in a long time, from Florida.

We've officially begun the holiday season. We know what that looks like. It's an exciting time. It's a happy time, but it's a time of caution for us right now. People will be gathering more indoors, people are traveling, more people are seeing family members they haven't seen in a long time who may or may not be vaccinated.

So we'll be talking about some of those issues in a few minutes. But, right now I wanted to talk about the new variant, which has been dominating the news. We are watching this very closely out of South Africa, watching to see whether or not there is a case here in New York. I said on Friday I fully expected to arrive. We have notification that it has arrived in Ontario, which is literally across the bridge from where I live. I can see Canada from my house and Ontario is right there. And there's a bridge crossing that we want to bring our Canadian friends and they come in with restrictions. They are vaccinated in order to come here. So we hope that as we welcome our neighbors, that they will not be bringing any unwanted guests with them.

But we have to deal with the realities of a highly transmissible, we believe, variant, Omicron variant. And so I wanted to start with that and to let people know, first of all, we are fully monitoring this. We have ways to defend against this. We are not defenseless like we were one year ago and we all know exactly what has to happen. We know that it's an issue that we're grappling with right now.

The world is paying attention to this, so we're monitoring it globally. We're monitoring it here in New York State. I want to talk about an institution that does not get the recognition that it deserves, and that is our globally leading Wadsworth Lab. I went and visited Wadsworth Lab during the heat of the pandemic. These are the individuals who worked literally day and night round the clock, trying to be able to monitor the situation, but also more importantly, conduct the tests, travel, make sure that everyone had what they needed to get through the early days of the pandemic.

They are frontline workers who I want to applaud, 700 members of the Wadsworth family who work unbelievably hard and they're absolutely brilliant. We are so blessed to have the members of the Wadsworth family, part of the New York State family.


A fiscally responsible Financial Plan advances a Recovery for All of Us and leaves the next administration with a platform for success

 Mayor Bill de Blasio today released New York City’s November Financial Plan Update for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22). The FY22 budget is now $102.8 billion and remains balanced. The final plan of this administration reflects strong fiscal management by drastically lowering budget gaps, remaining focused on savings, maintaining strong budget reserves and gives the incoming administration a springboard to success.


Budget growth in FY22 is driven by FEMA reimbursable costs and recognition of federal COVID-19 relief and stimulus funding the City used to save lives and drive an equitable recovery. New City spending in FY22 funds investments to help the fight against COVID, bolster our recovery, and make New York City more resilient to climate change.


“This budget is an investment in working families and our recovery. The November Plan recognizes crucial help from the federal government which has allowed New York City to rebound strong and invest in our future, from fighting COVID-19 to climate change,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “As this administration comes to an end, we’ve substantially lowered budget gaps and increased reserves, leaving the next administration with a strong foundation to continue New York City’s recovery.”


By achieving substantial pension, debt service and agency savings, budget gaps, which were already below historic norms, are significantly lower than at Adoption.


Adoption (in billions)

November (in billions)

Percentage Decline

FY23 gap




FY24 gap




FY25 gap





The Plan achieves $983 million in the Citywide Savings Program across Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023.


Budget reserves are $5.1 billion with $3.8 billion in the Retiree Health Benefits Trust, $1.0 billion in the Rainy-Day Fund which was created and funded under this administration, and $300 million in the General Reserve. At their highest NYC reserves totaled $6.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2020, before the pandemic hit.


Because the City’s financial position has improved since the early days of the pandemic, the assumed annual outyear labor savings of $1.0 billion has been reduced to $500 million in Fiscal Years 2023 through 2025.


New agency spending of $534 million in FY22 is completely offset by a combination of pension adjustments, agency and debt service savings totaling more than $600 million achieved over the same year. FY22 investments deepen the Recovery for us All, expand the fight against COVID-19, increase the City’s commitment to protecting New Yorkers from the impact of climate change and extreme weather, and more:


Fighting COVID-19 and Investing in our Recovery


  • Funding for Emergency Rikers Relief Plan actions ($57M)
  • Provide debt relief for taxi medallion owners with a City funded backstop, $50M on top of the existing $65 million Medallion Relief Program
  • Reentry housing with healthcare and employment counseling for justice involved New Yorkers returning to the community ($29M)
  • Extend COVID-19 Emergency Food Distribution ($15M)
  • Reduce recidivism with the MOCJ precision employment initiative ($14M)
  • Deepen funding for Key to NYC vaccine canvassing ($10M)
  • Expand street homeless outreach with mobile treatment vans ($4.4M)
  • Increase Test & Trace outreach ($7M)
  • Expand mental health services at domestic violence shelters ($5M)
  • $500 vaccine incentive initiative for City workers ($6M)


Protecting New Yorkers from Extreme Weather and the Impact of Climate Change


  • Address critical needs related to the response to tropical storms Ida, Henri and Isaias ($36M)
  • Implement recommendations in “The New Normal: Combatting Storm-Related Extreme Weather in New York City” report including an expanded sensor network, a database of basement apartments, green infrastructure maintenance, and wetlands management staffing, an investment of $15M which builds on $2.4B in funding that was included in the FY22 Capital Commitment Plan
  • Fund offshore wind capacity-building initiatives that will support the development and equipping of manufacturing firms in the City ($2M)


Read the November Financial Plan Update here.



By Councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz

 You should know that on December 9, 2021, a vote is scheduled to take place in the New York City Council that could allow 800,000 noncitizens to vote in local elections in our city, including the race for Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, and City Council. 
This is a dangerous and misguided effort being made by some elected officials to overlook the law which offers citizens – not noncitizens – in New York City, the right to vote.  
You may already know that Mayor-Elect Eric Adams won the June 2021 Democratic Primary by only 7,197 votes. In the November 2021 General election, Adams received a total of 271,834 votes – a fraction of 800,000.  
You should know that if this City Council Intro 1867 passes, regardless of its actual legality, New York City, which is home to both the United Nations and Wall Street could easily be taken over by any group of noncitizens who live here for 30 days and vote for the leader of their choice.  
Why would we ever make ourselves vulnerable to this kind of possible threat?   
Although lawlessness may seem to be in fashion these days, I urge you, my dear reader, to oppose efforts to ignore the actual law and instead permit noncitizens, the right to vote and to raise your voices and be heard against this radical agenda. 
It is important for you to know that much of my life’s work as an elected official has been working closely with many noncitizens and celebrating many ethnicities.  
For example, in 2006, I organized and led “The Great Walk in Solidarity with Immigrants,” one of the largest rallies where thousands of documented and undocumented immigrants marched in New York City; 
I was the most outspoken Member of the New York State Senate on the DREAM Act, and my support for DACA is fervent; 
I played a significant role with the IDNYC Program, offering documented and undocumented New Yorkers a way to receive discounts at museums and cultural institutions, libraries, banks and credit unions, movies, plays, BigAppleRx prescription drugs, fitness and health centers, Food Bazaar supermarket, veterans designation benefits, and animal care centers;  
I worked very hard to ensure that our immigrant community would be counted in the annual census, without fear of ICE. 
It is important for you to know that when a permanent resident applies to become a naturalized citizen, there is a rigorous process of study and testing to guarantee that new citizens understand the basics of the history of the United States of America and how our government functions. Under the New York City Council proposal, 800,000 noncitizen voters with no comparable understanding of the history of this country and government could, with nothing more than 30 days of residency here, be allowed to pick a name at the ballot box with no understanding of what that office is.       
Ladies and gentlemen I fully support our immigrant community, but I also respect our laws and cherish my privilege as an American citizen to vote.  I encourage all New Yorkers to pay close attention to what is going on here. I don’t believe that this proposal will hold up in court if it is passed by the City Council, so stay tuned. 

I am Councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz and this is What You Should Know. 

Governor Hochul Updates New Yorkers on State's Progress Combating COVID-19 - NOVEMBER 29, 2021

 Clinical specimen testing for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) at Wadsworth Laboratory

56,924 Vaccine Doses Administered Over Last 24 Hours

41 COVID-19 Deaths Statewide Yesterday

 Governor Kathy Hochul today updated New Yorkers on the state's progress combating COVID-19.

"With the arrival of winter when more people are traveling and gathering indoors, and the emergence of the Omicron variant, we are reminded that we cannot let our guard down in our fight to stop the spread of COVID-19," Governor Hochul said. "We are not defenseless, vaccinations and testing are the best tools we have in preventing further spread of the virus and its variants. If you have yet to get your vaccine, go out and do so as soon as you can and if you're due for your booster, doses are readily available across the state. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay safe as we head into the winter season."

Today's data is summarized briefly below:

  • Test Results Reported - 99,430
  • Total Positive - 5,277
  • Percent Positive - 5.31%
  • 7-Day Average Percent Positive - 4.12%
  • Patient Hospitalization - 2,829 (+73)
  • Patients Newly Admitted - 335
  • Patients in ICU - 556 (+18)
  • Patients in ICU with Intubation - 304 (+6)
  • Total Discharges - 215,237 (+237)
  • New deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS - 41
  • Total deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS - 46,484

The Health Electronic Response Data System is a NYS DOH data source that collects confirmed daily death data as reported by hospitals, nursing homes and adult care facilities only.

  • Total deaths reported to and compiled by the CDC - 59,168

This daily COVID-19 provisional death certificate data reported by NYS DOH and NYC to the CDC includes those who died in any location, including hospitals, nursing homes, adult care facilities, at home, in hospice and other settings.

  • Total vaccine doses administered - 29,683,176
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 24 hours - 56,924
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 7 days - 533,203
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose - 85.8%
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series - 78.3%
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) - 90.3%
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series (CDC) - 80.5%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose - 74.1%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series - 66.4%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) - 77.5%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series (CDC) - 68.2%

Bronx Jewish Center Holds Chanukah Festival and Lights First Candle on the Menorah


Sunday, the first night of Chanukah, the festival of lights in the Jewish tradition, was observed at the Bronx Jewish Center by Rabbi Saadia Pewzner and close to one hundred people Sunday afternoon. It was a Chanukah Wonderland.

On hand to help light the ceremonial menorah set up by the Rabbi, was Councilwoman Elect Marjorie Velazquez, who Rabbi Pewzner said was no stranger to the Bronx Jewish Center, and had been a friend from before she became involved in politics. Music was provided by Bobby Doowah, there were events especially for children, and a feast of food from potato latkes, to salad, chicken and jelly donuts. 

The banner that greeted you as you went into the enclosed backyard area. 

Inside a bouncy house was among the children's activities which included being an artist, and a small bowling alley.

A large selection of food was provided which included Potato Latkes, and jelly donuts traditional Chanukah food.

Councilwoman Elect Marjorie Velazquez took two doughnuts inside, one for her, and one for a friend. 

Councilwoman Elect Velazquez poses with Rabbi Pewzner and his wife Nachama, before being introduced to the full house by Rabbi Pewzner.

Councilwoman Elect Velazquez speaks to the audience with the band taking a few minutes off. 

Rabbi Pewzner had the Councilwoman Elect light the top candle, which he called the lead candle that will light the other candles one to be added for each day of Chanukah, while calling the Councilwoman Elect a person who will be shortly leading us in the 13th council district.

After lighting just the first candle on the right for the first day of Chanukah, Rabbi Pewzner says the Chanukah prayer. 

Councilwoman Elect Velazquez and Rabbi Pewzner were then interviewed by the local cable news channel about the holiday of Chanukah.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Additional Transcripts, Exhibits, and Videos From Independent Investigation Into Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Former Governor Cuomo Released


Transcripts and Exhibits of Staff and Outside Advisors Released Today

Video Testimony of Former Governor Cuomo, Top Aide, Complainants Also Released

Additional Transcripts and Exhibits Will Continue to Be Released on Rolling Basis

 The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) today continued the rolling release of transcripts and corresponding exhibits from the independent investigation into sexual harassment allegations against former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. On August 3, 2021, after nearly five months of investigating, the independent investigators appointed by New York Attorney General Letitia James — led by Joon H. Kim and Anne L. Clark — released their report concerning the multiple allegations of sexual harassment by Cuomo. Following the release of the report, multiple district attorneys asked that the OAG refrain from publicly releasing transcripts and other evidence so that their offices could first investigate and determine whether to file criminal charges against Cuomo.

However, following the filing of a criminal complaint against Cuomo on October 28, 2021 in Albany County, the Albany County District Attorney’s Office informed the OAG that it would begin releasing evidence to Cuomo to comply with New York state’s discovery laws. These laws state that once someone is charged with a crime, they must be furnished transcripts and other evidence in their case. As these materials are now being released by the Albany County District Attorney’s office — and in an effort to provide full transparency to the people of New York — the OAG informed local district attorneys that it would immediately begin releasing, on a rolling basis, all transcripts, corresponding exhibits, and videos compiled during the investigation, pending redactions to protect the privacy of individuals, as appropriate. This rolling release of evidence began on November 9, 2021.

The investigation was conducted after, on March 1, 2021, the Executive Chamber made a referral, pursuant to New York Executive Law Section 63(8), for Attorney General James to select independent lawyers to investigate “allegations of and circumstances surrounding sexual harassment claims made against the governor.” Kim and Clark were chosen to lead the investigation on March 8, 2021.

The transcripts, exhibits, and video testimonies being released today include:

Subject of Investigation

  •    Former Governor Andrew Cuomo:


  •    Charlotte Bennett:
  •    Lindsay Boylan:
  •    Brittany Commisso:
  •   Ana Liss:
  •   Virginia Limmiatis:
  •   Alyssa McGrath:

Former Executive Chamber Staff and Outside Advisors

Additional transcripts, exhibits, and video testimonies will be released as they are available. Transcripts and exhibits previously released can be found on the OAG website.