Friday, June 30, 2017

Former Doctor Shoots Up Bronx Lebanon Hospital

  A former doctor walked into Bronx Lebanon Hospital with an assault rifle and opened fire on doctors. Cops found the gunman dead following the rampage, with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. At least one other person is dead, and six other people wounded, five in serious condition.

  Below are statements from Mayor Bill de Blasio, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.


  Mayor Bill de Blasio: We’ve had a real tragedy here in the Bronx this afternoon. It’s something we’ve seen around the country, and now we’ve experienced it here. The tragedy occurred in Bronx-Lebanon Hospital. I want to say at the outset, thank God this was not an act of terrorism. It is an isolated incident. It appears to be a workplace-related matter, but that makes it no less tragic or no less horrible. 

One doctor is dead and there are several doctors who are fighting for their lives right now amongst those who are wounded. As you know, the shooter killed himself, but not before having done horrible damage. Our hearts go out to the family of the doctor who passed away and we’re giving both our hearts and our prayers, standing in solidarity with the families of all of those who were wounded and all of those who are fighting for their lives right now. 

This was a horrific situation unfolding in the middle of a place that people associate with care and comfort – a situation that came out of nowhere. But even in the midst of this horror, there were many, many acts of heroism. I want to thank our first responders – the police officers from the 4-4 and 4-6 Precincts and from our Strategic Response Group who entered the building quickly, went toward the danger to protect the many, many hundreds of people who were in the building. 

The firefighters who arrived – this was not just an active shooter situation but there was a fire that complicated matters and our firefighters did an exceptional job of addressing that situation immediately. And then, of course, all of the personnel at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital whose day went from normal to horrifying in a matter of seconds – the doctors, the nurses – all of the personnel responded with extraordinary bravery, with cool professionalism. They protected each other. They protected their patients even amidst this horrible situation. 

I want to express to everyone at Bronx-Lebanon hospital our profound thanks for all they did to handle this situation and to immediately respond to support their compatriots who are wounded. 

There will be an opportunity in the coming hours to provide more details but at this point, there is a lot that we are piecing together. I want to say upfront, there are many, many details that we’re still putting together, that’s why we’re not in a position to answer questions yet. But there will be an accounting of details shortly. 

But, what I can say in the meantime is there are many things amidst this pain to be proud of today, and God bless our first responders and the hospital personnel for the way they handled this situation. They put the safety of their fellow New Yorkers first, as they always do. 

  I want to thank Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro of the Fire Department. His men and women performed admirably in this situation. I want to thank Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark for being here; the Borough President of the Bronx Rubin Diaz Jr.; State Senator Gustavo Rivera; and Congressman Jose Serrano. Thanks to all for being here in support and solidarity. 

Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill: As the Mayor stated, this is all preliminary information – this just happened a couple of hours ago. So, this is what we have so far – at approximately 2:55 pm, a 9-1-1 call was received reporting a male firing a gun on the 16th floor of Bronx-Lebanon Hospital. That’s located right here behind me on the Grand Concourse. 

Responding patrol units from the 4-4 Precinct, and the 4-6 Precinct, quickly determined that several people had been shot on the 16th and 17th floors by a lone gunman armed with an assault rifle. Additional NYPD units from the Strategic Response Group, Critical Response Command, Emergency Service Unit, and other commands responded and began our active-shooter protocol, including a search for the suspect, evacuation, and activation of the Rescue Task Force, which is a combination of NYPD personnel and F-D personnel. During the incident, the hospital’s fire alarm system activate, apparently due to the suspect’s attempt to set himself on fire. 

On the 17th floor, officers encountered the male suspect lying on the floor, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. An assault rifle was found nearby. The subject was wearing a white medical-type coat. A female victim was also discovered on the 17th floor. She was pronounced dead at the scene. A total of six additional victims were found on the 16th floor. They have been removed to the emergency room of the hospital. Five of them were seriously injured and one suffered a gunshot wound to the leg. 

The subject, is a former employee of Bronx-Lebanon Hospital.


"Today’s fatal shooting at the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center has shocked an entire borough. On behalf of the more than 1.4 million people who call The Bronx home and who consider Bronx-Lebanon a vital partner within our communities, I offer condolences to the family of the woman who was tragically killed this afternoon. As we learn more details about this horrible incident, my office and I will keep the victims, their families and the entire Bronx- Lebanon family in our thoughts as we pray that the survivors of today’s shooting have a speedy recovery," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.


“Mayoral control of New York City schools is critical to the futures of more than one million kids. Providing a two-year extension gives the system an important measure of stability that’s key to initiatives that have produced record achievement.

“In extending our control of the nation’s largest school system, State lawmakers and the Governor deserve great credit for protecting the dramatic progress our teachers and principals have made in classrooms across the city. At the end of the day, Governor Cuomo, Speaker Heastie, and Leaders Flanagan, Klein, and Stewart-Cousins worked overtime to ensure New York City schools continued on a path of progress. The bipartisan cooperation that prevailed on this issue will have an immediate and lasting effect on the lives of our city’s children. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, education advocates, business and labor leaders, and a diverse coalition of allies played an equally crucial role in putting aside partisan politics and getting this legislation across the finish line.

“Our state government’s action allows us to refocus our attention away from the political process and back to our classrooms, where it belongs.”    


Within the next two years before this happens again, our state legislature MUST come up with a plan to replace Mayoral Control which has been proven not to work.

The New York City public school system is in worse shape than ever, and that includes the announcement by Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Farina of policy to better integrate the New York City Public School System.


  On Thursday, June 29, 2017, tens of thousands of Bronxites and revelers from all over the region joined Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and State Senator Jeff Klein as they hosted the borough’s official kickoff to the year’s Independence Day Celebrations, the annual “New York Salutes America” boardwalk festival and fireworks extravaganza at Orchard Beach.

“The annual ‘New York Salutes America’ boardwalk festival and fireworks extravaganza at Orchard Beach is one of our jewel events, and is a great way to kick-off our city’s July 4thcelebrations. I was proud to once again join State Senator Jeff Klein in bringing together thousands of our neighbors to celebrate America,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“As always, the annual Fourth of July extravaganza at Orchard Beach drew thousands of Bronxites for a spectacular evening of free entertainment and fireworks. It was a night where the community came together to celebrate our nation’s freedom, and I'm proud to have once again worked with Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr to make it such a memorable event,” said State Senator Jeff Klein


NYPD will be out in force for DWI enforcement around the five boroughs over Independence Day weekend; From Friday through Tuesday nights, “Know Your Limit” campaign will offer $10 off cab rides taken via the Curb app

  As part of the Vision Zero safety campaign, Mayor de Blasio today announced a focus on DWI enforcement over the 4th of July weekend, which traditionally has been among the deadliest times of the year for drunk-driving fatalities. At a briefing on holiday-related law-enforcement matters at One Police Plaza, he was joined DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, NYPD Transportation Chief Thomas Chan, and TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi, who also announced a new program to offer discounted cab rides  via the Curb app  over the holiday weekend. 

“Over three years of Vision Zero, we have made tremendous progress in reducing fatalities,” said Mayor de Blasio. “However, we have so much more work to do and a holiday weekend celebration is no excuse to let our guard down in keeping our fellow New Yorkers safe.  If you are drinking this weekend, don’t get behind the wheel. If you do, the NYPD is going to make sure you pay for it. Please use mass transit this weekend, or take advantage of the discounts being offered for New York City cabs.”

The DOT, NYPD, and TLC today made the following Vision Zero announcements:

DWI Enforcement Citywide: DOT and NYPD data show that the 4th of July weekend ends one of the most dangerous periods of the year for DWI-related traffic fatalities. During the six-week period between Memorial Day and Independence Day weekends, the rate of fatal alcohol-involved crashes increases by 55% compared to the rest of the year. The National Safety Council predicts that with traffic fatalities on the rise nationally, this four-day weekend holiday weekend could be the deadliest in many years.

NYPD will be focused on finding and arresting intoxicated drivers this holiday weekend. The focus on DWI will be down to the precinct level, including through the use of random checkpoints.

“Know Your Limit” Campaign features $10 Off Rides via Curb App:  “Know Your Limit” is an on-street campaign educating New Yorkers about the dangers of drinking and driving. When enjoying a night on the town, New Yorkers should always plan ahead, especially because New York City already provides thousands of designated drivers – taxi drivers, bus drivers, and subway conductors. As part of “Know Your Limit,” New Yorkers are encouraged this weekend to book a safe ride home on the Curb app, which connects its users to over 13,000 licensed NYC taxis. 

Users who have downloaded the Curb app  at or in the App Store or at Google Play  can use the promotional code “NODWI” to get $10 off rides.  Beginning tonight, a limited number of promotional codes will be available each night this weekend through Tuesday night from 7pm to 4am.  To redeem the discount, riders simply download and register their credit card on the app.  Enter the promo code in the payments section and a $10 credit will be applied to the rider's fare for one ride this weekend. 

More information is available on NYCDOT’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts and on taxi tops and Taxi TV. 

“Last weekend, a driver in Midtown with an alcohol level twice the legal limit, drove the wrong way on Seventh Avenue and seriously hurt a cyclist,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “Even as Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero efforts have helped us achieve historic declines in crashes, we need to stay vigilant for behavior that can so quickly undo that success.  If you are celebrating this holiday weekend, have a designated driver, take a subway or grab a cab. However you are celebrating, do not drink and then get behind the wheel. ”

"If you're out celebrating this weekend, ensure you have a designated driver," said NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill. "Our officers will be out across the City enforcing our traffic laws and cracking down on those who drink and drive."  

“Taxi and For-Hire Vehicle drivers play an essential safety role by helping passengers both stay off the road and get home comfortably after enjoying the holiday weekend,” said Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Meera Joshi .“The City and TLC-licensed driver’s efforts to prevent both drunk and fatigued driving is also something to celebrate.”

About Vision Zero 
In January 2017, after three successive years of declines in traffic fatalities, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced New York City would make an additional $400 million investment in Vision Zero – for a total of $1.6 billion over the next five years. DOT is implementing its most aggressive street redesign safety program, an increased investment in street redesign and traffic-calming measures citywide. Other Vision Zero changes announced by the Mayor include ensuring NYPD crossing guards at every post, faster replacement of street markings, intersection upgrades in the bike-lane network, more left-turn calming efforts, brighter lighting and more equipment at each police precinct to catch speeding.

 For more information about the de Blasio Administration’s Vision Zero initiative, please see


Community-driven plan focuses on built character, affordable housing, support for small businesses, workforce development and access to the Harlem River

  Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO James Patchett, and City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez today unveiled the Inwood NYC 2017 Action Plan which outlines neighborhood-wide goals and strategies that will build on Inwood’s strengths and address pressing challenges – including outdated zoning and rising rents, antiquated infrastructure, support for small businesses, workforce development and access to the Harlem River waterfront. 

“This community-driven plan means creating and preserving affordable housing, improving parks and access to the Harlem River, a new library, roads, schools, job development and vital business districts. We are working closely with Council Member Rodriquez and residents to ensure those living in Inwood today can stay and benefit from what is to come,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The Inwood NYC 2017 Action Plan, as well as public meeting materials and community feedback, are available here in English and Spanish.

The Action Plan is a major milestone of the Inwood NYC Neighborhood Planning Initiative, a two-year, community-wide engagement process that has reached over 2,300 residents, local nonprofits, businesses, and elected officials. The City has worked with the Inwood community and elected officials to shape a plan that best meets the needs of residents. A defined list of community priorities has been laid out through a series of bilingual public events, workshops, stakeholder meetings and surveys, including:

·   Development of new affordable housing and preservation of existing affordable housing
·         Tenant protection from property owner harassment and unlawful rents
·         Easy access and connection to the Harlem River waterfront
·        Preservation of Inwood’s distinct built character west of 10th Avenue, while ensuring that new developments are subject to Mandatory Inclusionary Housing requirements
·         Investment in outdated infrastructure, including streets, parks, sewers, and community spaces
·   Increased access to quality jobs, workforce development, and youth programming
·         Support for local businesses and arts & cultural organizations

“This Action Plan outlines comprehensive strategies to address Inwood’s most pressing challenges, such as rising rents, antiquated zoning, lack of access to the waterfront and outdated infrastructure,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO James Patchett. “With the continued leadership and advocacy of Council Member Rodriguez and Borough President Brewer, the City is committed to preserving Inwood’s distinct character, while creating and preserving affordable housing, expanding economic opportunities and improving neighborhood livability so that it remains an affordable and vibrant community.”


  Today, we came together to finish the people’s business benefiting constituents in every corner of the state. A two-year extension of mayoral control ensures continuity and stability for New York City’s public school students. Through this package, we take care of upstate communities worried about flooding and job security, and ensure the financial health of municipalities by renewing tax extenders. There’s always more to get done, and the Independent Democratic Conference will continue to advocate for the issues most important to our constituents and all New Yorkers as we head into next session.

Candidates Visit Tracy Towers

  Last night there was a meet the candidates night at the Tracy Towers community room. Over 45 people were on hand to see Democratic Mayoral candidate Sal Albanese and Democratic Bronx Borough President candidate Carmela Price. The two have joined together for the Democratic Primary, while also being the candidates of the Reform Party meaning they both will be on the November ballot either as both the Democratic and Reform Party candidates or just the Reform Party candidates. 
  Bronx Borough President candidate Carmela Price opened the forum, and gave a vision of her Bronx compared to what the current Bronx is. Ms. Price said that she had worked for current Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. (whom she is running against), but that she would not be the one to say negative things about her opponent. She did mention the community board application process, by saying if you didn't agree with the current Borough President your application went into the shredder. She said that she is opposed to Mayoral Control of the public schools, and that she wants to make a change. That is the reason she is running for Bronx Borough President, the fact that she knows what the job of the Borough President is.

  When questions were asked, as to a question about North Central Bronx Hospital downsizing and Montefiore taking over, her answer was why is the current borough president being so silent. To a question about the current Opioid epidemic, she held up a a overdose kit saying that she is trained to treat people who overdose and she wants to stop the epidemic. 

  Mayoral candidate Sal Albanese arrived after getting stuck in traffic which he said that he wants to clear up. It seems that there is to much traffic, and he wants to know why that is. Candidate Albanese brought up several issues about the deBlasio administration which included homelessness, Mayoral Control, lack of enough police, NYCHA, over development, and the aging subway system to name some. His solutions, Homelessness - move those out of the motels and into decent housing, Mayoral Control - end it and give more control to the community rather than all the power in the hands of the mayor, Police - look at what the police force is doing, and hire more officers if needed, NYCHA - do not sell the public areas in and around the houses for private development, Over development - rip up the zoning rules that the current mayor made so buildings can be built higher and on top of each other, The subway system - find out what really needs fixing and partner with the state to fix it.

  It is going to be a hard uphill battle for both Mayoral candidate Sal Albanese and Bronx Borough President candidate Carmela Price. First they have to get well over the required number pf signatures, and then their petitions have to be able to survive challenges that are sure to be filed. Both however are very optimistic about their respective races, but how many votes can optimism get you?

Above - Mayoral candidate Sal Albanese.
Below Bronx Borough President candidate Carmela Price.

Ms. Jean Hill the President of the Tracy Towers Tenants Association stands between Mayoral candidate Sal Albanese, and Bronx Borough President candidate Carmella Price. Ms. Hill said that there will be other candidates forums with candidates invited who represent or want to represent the community.

Kappock Street intersection reconstruction

 The intersection at Kappock Street, Netherland Avenue, and Knolls Crescent is being redone by the NYCDOT to make the intersection safer to cross below are photos of the work in progress.

Above and Below - Work being done to make the island at Kappock Street and Netherland Avenue larger.

Above - The turning lane from Netherland Avenue to Kappock Street will be slightly tighter.
Below - The Sidewalk going to Kappock Street is closed as you can see during the construction.

Bronx Democratic Party - Endorse Fidel Gomez for Civil Court Judge

Bronx elected officials and members of the Bronx Democratic Party have joined together to announce their support for Fidel Gomez's candidacy for Civil Court Judge. Fidel Gomez is a candidate in the First Municipal Court District of Bronx County and will be on the ballot for the Democratic Primary Election on September 12, 2017. If elected, Fidel Gomez will serve as the first Dominican male to serve in the Bronx Civil Court.
"Fidel Gomez has set himself apart from the pack by having tremendous decision writing skills and is well known in the legal community for having one of the sharpest minds," said Bronx Democratic Party Chairman and Assembly Member Marcos A. Crespo. "After having immigrated to this country from the Dominican Republic at the age of six, Fidel has dedicated his judicial career to serving his community in The Bronx and his story serves as a testament to the hard work, dedication, and tenacity that he brings to the table. Without reservation, I am proud to endorse Fidel Gomez for Civil Court Judge."
"I am pleased that such a distinguished and dedicated servant of the law is running for the Civil Court of the Bronx," said County Committee Chair and Assembly Member Latoya Joyner "As a Law Clerk for several of the Bronx's finest judges - including Justices Nelson Roman, Mitchell Danziger and Ben Barbato - Fidel's experience and judgment are of the highest competence and I know that if elected, he will serve with distinction in this new role as well."
"I am pleased that once again the Bronx Democratic Party has nominated a highly qualified individual to the bench. Fidel Gomez has a distinguished legal career and is a highly respected court attorney. I am certain that he will be a superb Judge of the Civil Court," said Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz.
"Fidel Gomez is a dedicated public servant with almost two decades of legal experience, including over 10 years as Law Clerk in all branches of our courts," said Assembly Member Luis R. Sepulveda. "As a practicing attorney who has seen the quality of his work first hand, I am proud to endorse his run for the Civil Court Judge and it will truly be an honor to see him serve on the bench."

"Fidel brings a wealth of relevant experience to the bench. Significantly, having been a litigator for many years where he tried dozens of high exposure cases and having Clerked for Judges at both the Trial and Appellate levels, Fidel is uniquely qualified to serve on the Civil Court of the City of New York," said State Senator Jamaal T. Bailey.

Bronx LGBTQ Center

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Throggs Neck Homeowners City Council Forum

  There were eight candidates at the Throggs Neck Forum held last night at Villa Barone. Eight candidates for the term-limited 13th City Council seat showed up, but only seven candidates left as one pulled out of the race. The night was filled with bashing the community board, bashing elected officials, and other non issue items by some of the candidates while the three main candidates stuck to the issues. The waterfront, lack of adequate police, lower performing schools, and overdevelopment. 

  There will be more forums and candidate debates before the September Democratic primary and November general election. If last night was any indication of what is to come this race is to close to call. Candidates gave out wrong information in their attempts to gain votes while their bashing efforts went on against one candidate who is an elected official, and one candidate who has the backing of the city councilman. The captions below the photo should tell you the rest of the story.

Above - The night started off well for Republican candidate John Cerini, but went downhill from there.
Below - Candidate John Doyle stayed on the issues that were important to the community, and spoke of his experience in the community.

Above - Republican candidate Lucia Giradi announces that she is pulling out of the race leaving Republican candidate John Cerini as the only Republican candidate. However Ms. Giardi also announced that she would be supporting candidate Mark Gjonaj in the 13th city council race.
Below - Candidate and Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj speaks of his experience as a legislator, and how he can help provide the guidance that the community is asking for.

Above - Candidate Alex Gomez  said that he was not a politician, that people should follow the money, and called for Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj to resign as an assemblyman to run for the city council.
Below - Candidate Victor Ortiz spoke of his experience working with Congressman Serrano, and that he worked to create bills in Albany.

Above - Candidate Egidio Sementelli Also attacked Assemblyman Gjonaj and the current elected officials. He said that he is the oldest candidate in the race.
Below - Candidate Velazquez said that she is a female district leader in the area, and has the support of the current councilman Jimmy Vacca as well as neighboring councilman Ritchie Torres, and several prominent female elected officials.

  To a question about Ferry Point overdevelopment the responses went, Cerini - The Target mall is the cause of traffic and broken streets. Doyle - wants to sit down with the companies that have come into the area to work on solutions. Gjonaj - Spoke about the Capri Motel situation, and the tractor trailers that do not belong. Gomez - blamed the community board. Ortiz - Wants to build a recreation center. Sementilli - Went after Simone Developers (who built the Target Mall) and the elected officials. Velazquez - Said she is a member of the CAB of the Capri Motel, and hold the owner accountable.

 To a question of the local precinct - Most candidates said they know the commanding officer or have been to Precinct Council meetings. Semetilli blamed Councilman Vacca for the low number of officer at the 45th Precinct, Gjonaj said that because the community is designated as a safe community the number of police officers is low, but would like to bring in the drug module program that the 49th Precinct has. Doyle said that because the precinct is so large he would push for more police officers. 

There were a few more questions asked, but the responses seemed to be the same as the person asked last got the benefit of hearing those before them answer the question. 

Some points I took during the forum.
Mr. Cerini said that there were 175 police officers at the 45th Precinct. I know as a fact that having been the Budget Chair for Community Board 8 and at the November 2015 Budget consultations with city agencies the boards were given a list of the number of police officers at each Bronx Precinct. The number in November 2016 was 135 officers at the 45th precinct. Mr. Cerini said to me he may have been wrong.

Also as a member of Community Board 8 Mr. Gomez and Mr. Ortiz could not tell me how community boards are in control of development in council districts. Community boards only come into play during the ULERP process which one did not know what it was. both said they did not really know after I told them. 

I believe this is a two or three person race on the Democratic side to decide which Democrat will face Republican John Cerini in November. the three are Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, Female District Leader Marjorie Velazquez, and Mr. John Doyle, however Mr. Doyle may be the deciding factor in this race one way or another. It is still to close to call on the Democratic side, and in future debates or forums that only the Democratic candidates be seated since they are competing to be Mr. Cerinis opponent.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

11th City Council Candidate gets a Boost from Mayoral and Public Advocate Candidates

  Mr. Michael Rendino the Bronx Republican County Leader brought some big names to help show off his Republican candidate for the 11th City Council district in November's General Election. Pictured above Republican County Leader Rendino is between Mayoral candidate Paul Massey (right) and 11th City Council candidate Judah D. Powers on the left.

  While both Powers and Massey may be new to politics they showed off that they each know the problems of the city and the 11th council district. Massey comes from the real estate field, and has been married for 29 years. He spoke about something that seems to be missing that being family values. Massey spoke of some of what is wrong with the current administration from trying to fine small businesses to death to Quality of life issues that have come up in the news recently. Massey, as an expert on housing said that there will be a real housing crisis soon as a good percentage of New York City's housing is nearing the same age as the subway system, that being over 100 years old. 

  Mr. J.C. Polonco a former Board of Elections Commissioner, and political commentator and consultant was more direct in his quest to be the next Public Advocate. Mr. Polonco didn't attack the current Public Advocate like Mr. Massey did to the current mayor, but he stressed that the current Public Advocate has not been doing her job as Public Advocate by not questioning the policies and dealings of the current mayor. The Pay to Play scandal was mentioned with the current Public Advocate doing nothing to be a check on the mayor as the position was made to be. He said that a television Station had to sue for information on the mayor's dealings with certain Agents of the City which the current Public Advocate should have done. 

  Candidate Judah Powers said that more needs to be done for the people of the 11th district, and while not coming out by saying it directly he said that the 11th Council District needs a representative who will look out for them, He was vague on policy, but said that he and people he has spoken with are not happy with the way things are headed in the district.

  Bronx Republican Leader Michael Rendino said that if people want to see better leaders that they should vote for the candidates backed by the Bronx Republican Party, and not just go in tto vote blindly for a slate of candidates they are given. He said that all three candidates at the meeting have been endorsed by the Bronx Republican Party. 

Above - Bronx Republican County Leader Michael Rendino welcomes everyone to meet and hear the candidates of the Bronx Republican Party.
Below - Republican Party Public Advocate candidate J.C. Polonco explains why he is better qualified for the job of Public Advocate than the current Public Advocate. 

  One special note is that this is the same place that the Ben Franklin Democratic Club had their 2014 endorsement meeting to vote to endorse State Senator Jeff Klein for  re-election over one of the Democratic club's founding fathers and former Councilman Oliver Koppell. 

More Than $23 Million In Assets Recovered From The Estates Of Bernard Madoff’s Sons And From His Daughter-In-Law

Recovered Assets Will Be Used to Compensate Victims of the Madoff Fraud

  Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York,  Irving Picard, the Securities Investor Protection Act (“SIPA”) Trustee, and William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), today announced the recovery of more than $23 million in assets from the Estates of Andrew and Mark Madoff, and from Mark Madoff’s widow, Stephanie Mack, representing funds transferred to them by Bernard Madoff.  A Stipulation and Order of Settlement effecting the recovery was signed yesterday by U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel.  The assets will be liquidated and distributed to victims either through the Madoff Victim Fund, which was established by the Department of Justice, or through the BLMIS Customer Fund, which is administered and the SIPA Trustee.
Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “To date, this Office has recovered more than $9 billion in funds for victims of Bernard Madoff’s fraud. Today’s agreement, one of the final pieces in the Government’s eight-year effort to provide justice for Madoff’s victims, demonstrates our commitment not only to holding wrongdoers accountable, but also compensating victims of criminal fraud.”
SIPA Trustee Irving Picard said:  “Today’s announcement is the culmination of years of ongoing investigations by our legal teams and our negotiations with the Madoff family. The outcome marks another significant milestone in the eight years of the Madoff Recovery Initiative, during which we have recovered or reached agreements to recover more than $11.5 billion and distributed more than $9 billion to Madoff’s victims.”
FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “The investment scheme of Madoff’s was so devastating to so many investors who trusted his firm with their money. Today’s announcement of more than $23 million recovered is another small step we can take to try to make things right for the victims of Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme.”
According to the Stipulation and Order of Settlement (the “Stipulation”) and other documents filed in connection with the criminal and civil forfeiture cases relating to the Madoff fraud:
For decades, Bernard L. Madoff (“MADOFF”) used his position as Chairman of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities (“BLMIS”), the investment advisory business he founded in 1960, to steal billions from his clients.  On March 12, 2009, MADOFF pled guilty to 11 federal felonies, admitting that he had turned his wealth management business into the world’s largest Ponzi scheme, benefitting himself, his family, and select members of his inner circle. 
MADOFF’s sons, Andrew and Mark Madoff (“ANDREW” and “MARK”), worked for MADOFF at BLMIS, amassing substantial assets from their employment there.  To fuel their luxurious lifestyle, MADOFF frequently provided money to members of his family, including millions of dollars to ANDREW and MARK.  As part of these transfers, ANDREW and MARK issued a series of seven promissory notes, with face value of $28.15 million in total (the “Notes”), to MADOFF, promising to repay the money provided by MADOFF, with interest, after the period of years specified in each Note.  Included in this amount is one Note for $6.5 million that was co-signed by MARK’s wife, Stephanie Mack (“MACK”).   
Following MADOFF’s arrest, his property was seized.  On June 29, 2009, United States District Judge Denny Chin sentenced MADOFF to 150 years in prison for running the largest fraudulent scheme in history.  Describing MADOFF’s crimes as “extraordinarily evil,” Judge Chin ordered MADOFF to forfeit $170,799,000,000 as part of MADOFF’s sentence.  In a final order of forfeiture dated February 16, 2016, Judge Chin ordered the Notes forfeited to the United States.
MARK passed away in 2010, and ANDREW passed away in 2014.  The Stipulation resolves the Government’s claims against the Estates of ANDREW and MARK (the “ESTATES”) and MACK based on the Notes, as well as various claims asserted against them by the SIPA Trustee.  Pursuant to the terms of the Stipulation, the agreement must also be approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stuart M. Bernstein, who oversees the SIPA Trustee’s efforts in bankruptcy court. 
The Stipulation requires the ESTATES and MACK to relinquish cash, securities, and liquid assets worth a total of more than $23 million, as well as various interests in additional corporate assets held by the ESTATES.  These additional corporate assets will be liquidated and the proceeds added to the total recovery.  The total recovery will be split evenly between the Government and the SIPA Trustee, and then distributed to victims of the Madoff fraud. 
The Government’s portion will be distributed to victims through the Madoff Victim Fund.  The Madoff Victim Fund is funded through recoveries by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in various criminal and civil forfeiture actions, and is overseen by Richard Breeden, the former Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, in his capacity as Special Master appointed by the Department of Justice to assist in connection with the victim remission proceedings. 
Mr. Kim praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the SIPA Trustee.    

Two Afghan Men Plead Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court To Conspiring To Import Hundreds Of Kilograms Of Heroin Into The United States

   Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that LAJBAR LAJAWARD KHAN, a/k/a “Haji Lajaward,” and AMAL SAID SAID ALAM SHAH, a/k/a “Haji Zar Mohammad,” pled guilty to conspiring to import heroin into the United States, and to distributing heroin intending that the heroin would be imported into the United States. LAJAWARD and SAID pled guilty earlier today to a Superseding Indictment in Manhattan federal court before U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood.
Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “As these two defendants admitted today, they conspired and attempted to import heroin into the United States from Afghanistan. Indeed, as the investigation revealed, they intended to import so much heroin into the United States from Afghanistan that their ‘sample’ shipment, meant as a test run for future shipments to the U.S., was three kilograms of heroin. We will continue to work with the DEA to curb the importation of heroin, a lethal drug that plagues every community right now.”
According to the allegations contained in the Superseding Indictment to which LAJAWARD and SAID pled guilty, statements made during the plea and other court proceedings, and other documents in the public record:
LAJAWARD and SAID, two Afghan nationals, were part of a drug trafficking organization (the “DTO”) based in Afghanistan that produced and distributed large quantities of heroin. Between approximately May 2014 and June 2015, LAJAWARD and SAID worked together in an effort to import large quantities of heroin – in the range of 1,000 kilograms – from Afghanistan into the United States.
In August 2014, LAJAWARD began communicating by telephone with an individual he understood to be a New York-based narcotics trafficker, who was in fact an undercover agent of the DEA (the “UC”). LAJAWARD, in sum and substance, told the UC that he was interested in supplying large quantities of high-quality heroin for importation into the United States, where it would be sold for millions of dollars. In the course of the calls between LAJAWARD and the UC, LAJAWARD introduced the UC to one of LAJAWARD’s heroin-trafficking associates, SAID.
On October 30, 2014, LAJAWARD and the UC met in person in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In the course of that recorded meeting, in sum and substance, LAJAWARD continued to express his interest in supplying large quantities of heroin to the UC for importation into the United States, and LAJAWARD offered to supply a sample of heroin to the UC, as a test shipment to be sold in the United States. In the months following that meeting in Dubai, in the course of recorded telephone calls with the UC, LAJAWARD and SAID arranged to supply a three-kilogram sample of heroin in Kabul, Afghanistan (the “Heroin Sample”).
During those recorded calls, LAJAWARD, SAID, and the UC agreed that the delivery of the three-kilogram Heroin Sample would occur in Kabul on or about January 15, 2015. On that day, an undercover Afghan law enforcement officer, acting at the direction of the DEA and posing as an associate of the UC, met with LAJAWARD and one of LAJAWARD’s associates in Kabul and received delivery of the three-kilogram Heroin Sample. In parallel, over 1,000 miles away in Dubai, the UC met with another associate of LAJAWARD to pay for the Heroin Sample, as had been arranged during recorded calls between the UC and LAJAWARD. At that meeting, which was recorded, the UC paid $10,500 to the associate for the Heroin Sample.
About two weeks later, on January 28, 2015, SAID met with the UC in Dubai. During that recorded meeting, in sum and substance, SAID discussed the Heroin Sample that the DTO had recently supplied for importation into the United States, stated that the DTO was prepared to supply 1,000 kilograms of heroin to the UC, and indicated that it would only take the DTO about 15 days to produce 100 kilograms of heroin for shipment to the United States.
On April 2, 2015, SAID met again with the UC in Dubai. During that recorded meeting, SAID and the UC negotiated additional details of the agreement for the DTO to supply massive quantities of heroin for importation into the United States, including that LAJAWARD and SAID would share in the profits generated from the sale of the heroin in the United States. SAID also agreed, in sum and substance, that he and LAJAWARD would meet the UC in Thailand, for purposes of finalizing the heroin deal, and for LAJAWARD and SAID to receive their share of the profits generated from the purported sale in the United States of the three-kilogram Heroin Sample previously supplied by the DTO.
In June 2015, LAJAWARD and SAID traveled to Bangkok, Thailand, to meet with the UC. On June 13, 2015, LAJAWARD and SAID were arrested in Bangkok by Thai authorities based on the charges in this case, at the request of U.S. authorities. LAJAWARD and SAID were later brought to the United States to face the charges against them.
LAJAWARD, 52, of Afghanistan, and SAID, 46, also of Afghanistan, each pled guilty to one count of conspiring to import one kilogram and more of heroin into the United States, and to one count of distributing or attempting to distribute one kilogram and more of heroin, knowing and intending that it would be imported into the United States. LAJAWARD and SAID each face a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by a judge. Sentencing is scheduled for November 1, 2017, at 3:30 p.m., before Judge Wood.
Mr. Kim praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA’s Special Operations Division; the DEA’s Kabul, Dubai, Tokyo, and Bangkok Country Offices; the DEA’s New York Field Division; the CNP-A Sensitive Investigative Unit of the Afghan Ministry of the Interior; the Dubai Police Department and the Anti-Narcotics Unit of the Emirati Ministry of Interior; Japan’s National Police Agency and the Saitama Prefectural Police; Thailand’s Sensitive Investigative Unit of the Royal Thai Police Narcotics Suppression Bureau; Thailand’s Attorney General’s Office; Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; INTERPOL; the U.S. Department of State; and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs.


  Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a Rikers Island inmate has been convicted of Attempted Forcible Touching of a female correction officer. 

   District Attorney Clark said, “The sexual degradation of a correction officer doing her job is disgusting and unacceptable. We will seek justice for any crimes committed on Rikers Island, and I hope this conviction reinforces our message that we will hold offenders accountable.” 

   District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Chavarr Gilliam, 26, was convicted on June 21, 2017 after a bench trial before Criminal Court Judge Bahaati Pitt of Attempted Forcible Touching and second-degree Harassment. He faces up to three months in jail when he is sentenced on July 12, 2017. The defendant is serving 18 years in prison for a robbery conviction and was being held at Rikers Island on a pending Manhattan case.

  According to the investigation, on February 7, 2017, in the George R. Vierno Center, Gilliam passed a female correction officer and proceeded to touch her buttocks in front of several other inmates.

  District Attorney Clark thanked Department of Correction Investigator Phil Lee, DOC liaison Scott Frank and former Assistant District Attorney Travis Long.