Jackie Ward: Another Hynes' Goof?

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“When the Voice dropped in at Moore's office one recent evening, Norman and Jackie Ward were among the four people there, with Norman actually sitting next to a desk marked "State Senator Carl Andrews." Norman stood up, declared he had just "stopped by" and "was no longer involved in politics," and left, standing in front of the headquarters long enough to send two young women inside looking for jobs. Ward left her $80,000-a-year job with Comptroller Thompson when her name kept popping up in news stories during Hynes's 2003 probe of Norman.

(Andrews Amnesia, Why are the media giving the scandal-ridden Norman pal a pass?”

by Wayne Barrett  Village Voice, August 1st, 2006 11:29 AM)

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Get the Wayne Barrett photograph, Joe?  Clarence Norman and Jackie Ward waiting for State Senator Carl Andrews to arrive for one of their election strategy meetings.  Just as they’ve done since 1984. Carl, late as usual. On his way, but stopping to schmooze or to buy some fried chicken and chips on Nostrand Avenue.  Clarence,  evidently in control, sitting next to the State Senator’s desk....

The old gang is back again, Joe. Stronger than ever.  The three musketeers. Clarence, Carl, and Jackie. 20 years together.   Their errand-person, Medgar Evers Professor William Boonie,  probably sent out to buy beer and ham-sandwiches for the boys. And a diet coke for Jackie. Carmen Martinez, the veteran treasurer, won’t be joining them. Carmen went through the embarrassing process of testifying at Clarence’s trial. She needs to keep her government job, and she’s not taking any chances. No more.  But Musa Moore, Clarence’s hand-picked successor as District Leader. Musa has shown his ability to work candidates for $$$$ and keep records that are not compromising. . So Musa is in. A welcome addition to the team. And Musa has this office which can be used.

You haven’t made much of a dent on Clarence’s operation, have you Joe? And this sure doesn’t look like a farewell party for an Assemblyman who is going to jail, does it?

It’s likely to get worse, Joe. Here’s a surprise for you. Clarence is not preparing to serve a prison term.  What he’s doing is planning  control of  a new and larger empire. And not from behind bars. Here’s what it looks like, Joe. Elliot Spitzer is a shoo-in for governor.  Carl may win the Congressional race on Spitzer‘s coat-tails. Eric Adams will become State Senator as part of  Carl’s team. Karim Kamara, Reverend Norman’s  First Baptist Church associate pastor  will keep the Assembly seat that he was nominated to by Clarence. If events work out that way, it is virtually guaranteed that Clarence Norman will never spend a day in jail.

What do you think, Joe?  Would a combination of persuasion from the Governor Spitzer,  Assembly Speaker Silver, State Attorney General Paterson, Congressman Andrews, Congressman Meeks, State Senator Adams, State Senator Dilan, Assemblypersons Lopez, Robinson, and Kamara, have some influence over the members of the Appellate Court?   In fact, let’s leave out the other elected officials. Would Appellate Court judges want to do a favor for Governor Spitzer and Assembly Speaker Silver?  Would it  really be so unusual to find an elected official found guilty in the State Supreme Court, and have his conviction later overturned in the Appellate division.  And if the Appellate Court doesn’t do it, how about  the Court of  Appeals?

Sounds like a  game plan, Joe. Wake up and smell the feces!!. Because you may be up to your eyeballs in it within a year. If Clarence’s convictions are overturned you are toast!!.   Your hope of doing the “Morgy” will be dead. The campaign to dump  you could be in full stride by this time next year.

Everyone will see the handwriting on the wall. You will be an outsider, and a lame duck unable to raise a penny.  Some of your staff will begin leaving immediately.. Those who stay with you will start leaking information to your enemies in order to secure their positions in the future. Your best option would probably be to retire before your term is up. If you have skeletons in your closet, as some people believe, prepare for disaster. John O'Hara will rise again. We’re talking here about the possibility of a 75 year old District Attorney doing time in jail. Not a pretty ending to an illustrious career.

It’s strange. Very strange. Because not so long ago, District Attorney Joe Hynes appeared to have Jackie Ward just where he wanted her. In the palm of his hands. Both hands.  There was a smile on his face as Joe got ready to squeeze Jackie like a ripe yellow Haitian mango. The same smile that he had with Gerald Garson, and Diane Gordon. The smile and confidence of Inspector Clousseau.

The news broke  that Jackie Ward had been paid $92,000 out of the  Mark Green  $245, 000 transfer to the Thurgood Marshall Political Club in Fall 2001. According to Richard Schrader, Green’s campaign manager, the payment had been negotiated by Clarence Norman and his pal Carl Andrews.  In addition, reports suggested that Jackie had been paid somewhere in the vicinity of  $200,000 during the few months that she had returned from the Carolinas to assist Clarence and Carl in  coordinating the collection of maybe as much as $1,000,000 at Le Club Thurgood Marshall.   Jackie was  being referred to by TMPC workers as the  “paymaster.”  And  worse than everything else, Jackie was being fingered as being the one who arranged for the printing and payment for the obscene cartoon of Sharpton and Ferrer distributed by the Mark Green campaign.

The last straw for Jackie.  City Comptroller Billy Thompson  suddenly released her from the job she had been given in the State Comptroller’s office after he took office. Jackie had worked on Billy’s campaign, and her hiring was one of dozens that had been referred to as  patronage jobs given out by Billy.  Billy’s official explanation was that Jackie had left this easy, benefits-filled position for personal reasons. But it was easy to suspect that at his dad’s  advice, Billy had dropped Jackie like a hot potato when the scandal erupted.

Up and down Nostrand Avenue there was talk about Jackie being investigated and indicted by the District Attorney. There were even rumors about whether Jackie would be called in by the Feds on tax evasion charges. But friends of Jackie also let it be known that she would not take the fall for her powerful partners.  That led to the rumor that Jackie had been promised immunity by Joe Hynes in return for wearing a wire and providing the District Attorney with information he needed to prosecute both Clarence and Carl.

It was a logical suspicion.  Joe had promised to clean up the corrupt political system, and although Carl Andrews and Jackie Ward were clearly associates of Clarence Norman, it  made sense that  the District Attorney would be willing to give them immunity and let them walk if they cooperated with him. So when Hynes never talked about an investigation into either Jackie Ward or Carl Andrews, most people assumed that Hynes had somehow broken the gang, and had turned both Jackie Ward and Carl. But now the photograph taken at Musa Moore’s office suggests that the bad guys have made  a fool out of  District Attorney Clousseau yet another time. The Pink Panther has come up empty again.

Jackie Ward is back. Right where she was in 2001 just about this time. In the thick of battle. The rumor was around for a while that Jackie was working on Carl's campaign out of an office at Medgar Evers College. And that Jackie had taken a leave from her job at McKissack & McKissack. Is that the architectural firm that landed a substantial government contract at Medgar Evers? And  does President Edison Jackson feed the hand that feeds him?

Funny thing. I always liked Jackie. This feisty little woman. I always said that if I were in a fight I would  want Jackie Ward on my side. Not Carl, Not Boonie.  Carl’s good for wheeling and dealing, but lazy. And Boonie is good on errands when his head is clear. But Jackie Ward is a worker, a fighter, an organizer and an enforcer. No backing off with Jackie. She gets right up in your face and is ready to throw down.She works herself to the bone, and is completely trustworthy…except for a few little problems.  Our Inspector Clousseau needs to know that since 1984 Jackie Ward has almost a 100% win record for Brooklyn elections that she has been involved in. That spells trouble.

But the thought occurs that Clousseau may have the last laugh. Voila, Monsieur. Wayne Barrett may not have noticed the hidden cameras in Musa Moore’s office. The Village Voice journalist probably didn’t notice Jackie adjusting something under her shirt from time to time.  Barrett failed to see the tiny wire running from the back of the State Senator’s desk. And I bet Wayne didn’t realize that the two girls who entered the office for jobs were wearing false noses and wigs. We should not underestimate Inspector Clousseau, should we?