Few Voters Know of Diane Gordon's Indictment
I spent several hours in the 40th Assembly District yesterday, attending a candidates’ meeting, and gathering information from Block parties. Rock Hackshaw, a blogger on Room Eight and a well-known activist in Central Brooklyn, was also in the District and provided me with some information he himself had gathered.
Amazing as it may seem, less than a quarter of the residents of the 40th District may be aware that Assemblywoman Diane Gordon had been captured on tape making a deal to acquire a $500,000 home from a developer.
Among senior citizens, the highest-voting block, the number aware of the Assemblywoman‘s indictment fell to less than 10%. And many of those were told that once Gordon was re-elected, the charges against her would be dropped.
Every lawyer and every judge I have discussed the matter with stated unequivocally that there is hardly a chance that Diane Gordon will escape conviction and a jail sentence. Why? The indictment for solliciting a bribe in return for use of her official position was not based on hear-say evidence. It was captured on tape. And if the report of what the tape says is correct, then the case on Diane is closed.. Moreover, there seems to be evidence that $7,500 was given to Gordon’s mother, and returned after the wire-tape was revealed to Gordon. We suspect by someone from the DA’s office.
So while the odds are that Diane is going to jail.(And I take no personal joy in this), the odds also are that most of the people who vote for her will not be aware of it. And something is remarkably wrong with this. It seems incredible that police officers, teachers, and government employees of all types can be automatically suspended when mere allegations of wrongdoing are brought against them, while elected officials can actually be under indictment and remain in office.
It has also been my opinion that District Attorney Hynes has several other matters on which he might be seeking indictment. The $5,000 check payment to Clarence's political organization which we suspect was a bribe being laundered to Clarence from a judicial candidate. And rumors are floating that the candidate, now a judge may be assisting Diane.
There is also the matter of a payment which Diane reported as being made to Reverend Keaton's church, but which the Reverend was unaware of.
If even Gordon gets elected, she is likely to have a short trial which will end with conviction by June. The Assemblywoman has neither the resources nor connections to stall a trial. This event is likely to cost over $100,000. And Diane is already reported to be running on Empty. In fact, when the Assemblywoman missed the candidates’ debate at Reverend Underwood’s church on Saturday, I was told that she had called an Emergency meeting. Two persons leaving for the meeting told me that the meeting was likely to include a plea for funds for her legal defense. And I understand that Gordon has already sent out a letter asking for donations.
In most opinions, the Assemblywoman’s re-election is clearly a waste of time. During the few months she will serve before conviction she will have no time or inclination to pay attention to the needs of her constituents.
But even worse, the premature termination of her incumbency, whether voluntary or by conviction will lead to another situation where yet another new Assemblyperson is elected through the nomination process, and the voters are robbed of a legitimate election.
There are two candidates opposing Gordon on the Assembly line and one opposing her on the Female leader line. The two Assembly candidates are Winchester Keys and Ken Evans. Keys’ resume indicates that he served 18 years in Albany as staff manager for Assemblyman Ed Griffith. Griffith was defeated and sent into retirement by Diane Gordon. Winchester also describes himself as a Developer in the area. Something that immediately raises questions.
The other candidate, legal practitioner Ken Evans has lived in the 40th AD for 35 years and has held several positions doing Community Service. Among them, he was Brooklyn Director of the Urban League, and Chairperson of the Community Advisory Board of DownState Hospital. Evans also challenged State Senator Howard Babbush several years ago, and lost, but blazed the trail for John Sampson to follow successfully.
Meanwhile, it is wrong for voters to be going to the poll unaware of the likelihood that Diane Gordon may be convicted. At the same time it is awkward for her opponents to circulate that information to the public. This is clearly a situation where the mainstream press and good-government agencies have a responsibility to bring this information to the public. But what can we really expect from people who show not a scintilla of interest in the possible tampering with the data-base of the Board of Elections?