Why John Ravitz Should Be Removed
Most of us have not yet been able to decipher the taped answers given by Board of Elections chairman John Ravitz to the questions put to him by Room Eight administrator Gur today.
So at this point it is difficult to pass judgment on the credibility of the Ravitz statements. Hopefully Gur will soon post an acceptable written transcript of the interview together with the original statements made by Ravitz to the Sun's Azi Paybarah on July 28th. At that time we will all be able to form a fair and educated assessment of this man's competence and integrity.
Meanwhile, two things should happen. John Ravitz should be removed immediately from the sensitive and important position of Board of Elections chairperson. If someone is empowered to do so, all the Board of Elections Commissioners should also be removed. And all of these individuals should be called in for investigation by both the Manhattan District Attorney and the Brooklyn District Attorney.
Why? The Board of Elections is not a private corporation. It's not a mom and pop store run by Mr. Ravitz and the Commissioners. This is a public agency which is obligated to maintain the confidence of the voters. Several bloggers here, who by no means suspect a cover-up, agreed that the absence of a prompt and forthright response by Mr. Ravitz and the Board of Elections Commissioners could result in a dimunition of trust in the electoral process.
And that in itself is a crime.
But here is the real problem. I have said repeatedly that by his own words, Mr. Ravitz admitted that he was apprised on July 28 of the possibility that a serious crime may have been committed at the Brooklyn Board of Elections. We now know that the Commissioners were also aware of this possible crime.
A police officer on the beat who has reason to suspect that a crime may have been committed cannot decide to handle an investigation himself. A teacher in a school who suspects that a child has been abused does not have the right to deal with that matter himself. Neither John Ravitz, his commissioners nor his technicians are detectives or criminal investigators. We have not been told so far that Ravitz called in the Brooklyn District Attorney(and the Manhattan District Attorney). And if law-enforcement officers were not involved in this possible crime scene, any assertion that the Brooklyn VoterDatabase has not been tampered with cannot be accepted as truthful or legitmate.
Moreover, Mr. Ravitz' claim that he was unaware of any after-midnight gatherings with non-employee in the Manhattan Board of Elections office is ludicrous. Even bloggers who claim that these events were harmless, freely admit that they were no secret, and that complaints had been made in the past about them. Mr. Ravitz is either being totally dishonest, or he falls into an unconscious state at the stroke of midnight.
That would account for him not seeing Jeff Feldman, Bernie Catcher, Lew Fidler and others in the building after midnight on July 13.
But please hurry up, and provide us with the Ravitz report, Gur. We wouldn't want Gatemouth to claim a premature victory, would we?
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