Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Taking Care of the Family

Ironically, it was the actions of ex-Assemblyman and Brooklyn Democratic leader Clarence Norman, until his felony conviction in fall 2005, and Assemblyman Vito Lopez, his successor, that began the chain of circumstances that led to this decision. When Margarita Lopez-Torres was elected to a county-wide Civil Court in Brooklyn in 1993 on the recommendation of Vito Lopez, she rejected every job applicant sent to her by the county organization, including Mr. Lopez' daughter who sought employment as a law secretary. The payback for this defiance was the county's refusal to designate her for re-election when her term expired in 2003. She ran anyway, winning re-nomination in a sharply contested Democratic primary. - New York Civic

The lengthy lead story in the Real Estate section [of the NY Times] credited Lopez with sparking a massive rebuilding effort in Bushwick, way back when he was a graduate student in 1971, and then carrying it through. The story also mentioned that Angela Battaglia's agency is the developer for a $20 million component of the rebuilding effort. It even pictured Lopez and Battaglia standing together in front of new housing construction. But the story omitted that Battaglia is Lopez's girlfriend. Does that connection at least deserve mention? Might the article have explained why there was or wasn't a conflict of interest present? Was it a coincidence that Lopez's girlfriend's outfit was put in charge of the $20 million deal? Inquiring minds would like to know. - Daily Gothic, 2/21/2006

ALBANY - Gov. Pataki plans to nominate the daughter of Assemblyman Vito Lopez, the Brooklyn Democratic chairman who has been cozy with Republican leaders, to a lucrative, long-tenured post on the state Court of Claims, The Post has learned.
Pataki, a lame-duck Republican who has been rushing to fill hundreds of positions before he leaves office at the end of the year, will nominate Gina Marie Lopez-Summa to the prestigious $137,000-a-year post, as payback for Assemblyman Lopez's repeated willingness to break party ranks and back the governor for reelection, said a high-level state official.
"Vito has been more loyal to Pataki than he has been to the Democratic Party," the official said.
A source close to Pataki confirmed Lopez-Summa was in line for appointment to the Court of Claims, which hears cases filed against the state. Assemblyman Lopez did not return a call seeking comment.Source Citation: "PATAKI WILL BOOST KIN OF DEM ALLY.(News)." New York Post (New York, NY) (Sept 18, 2006): 06

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