In an article published online Monday morning, NY Post columnist John Crudele reported that upstate FBI agents are reviewing allegations of voter fraud, fraudulent nominating petition signatures and possibly personal use of campaign funds by Bronx officials connected to the Bronx Democratic County Committee.
According to Crudele federal investigators are looking at voter fraud and financial mismanagement in the borough.Materials turned over to the FBI are said to include evidence of alleged voter fraud — particularly alleged fake signatures on voter petitions.
A local source contacted The Bronx Chronicle said that one document turned over to federal authorities shows that some candidates in unnamed Bronx districts got more votes than the number of voters who went into the booths.
Other sources spoken to by The Bronx Chronicle believe there are four possible investigative tracks by prosecutors.
- In 2014, insurgent candidates Elliot Quiñones and William Moore made accusations of petition and voter fraud against Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr. and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo. Moore also alleged more votes were cast than the actual number of voters participating in the September 9, 2014 primary election. Mr. Quiñones was knocked off the ballot that year;
- A year earlier, insurgent Julio Pabón found nearly enough fake signatures in an election case involving CM Maria del Carmen Arroyo that almost resulted in her getting tossed off the ballot (in 2013);
- An anti-Espaillat group claimed that the Espaillat congressional campaign had forged petition signatures and registered sham voters from the same set of apartment addresses in 2014; And
- A dated allegation of fiscal mismanagement involving Soundview Community in Action, a now defunct nonprofit, once funded by Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr.
The Bronx Chronicle has learned that William Moore, who accused Assemblyman Crespo of voter fraud last fall, is a pal of Eric Stevenson, the disgraced ex-assemblyman (79AD) and was said to have been fired by then-BP Adolfo Carrion for cause. Another accuser in that election case is Camella Pinkney-Price, a former aide to BP Ruben Diaz, Jr. and ex-chief of staff to Sen. Diaz.
Former Democratic district leader Ken Padilla wrote in a Facebook post that “If this relates to the Diazes…there is stuff there…and witnesses.”
In his post, Padilla claimed Senator Diaz admitted years ago that he took $5000 from Soundview Community in Action (SCA) “to buy furniture for his Senate Office and buy speakers for his campaign vans. But then-AG Spitzer gave [Sen. Diaz] a slap on the wrist.” He also says that Spitzer’s successor as state Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo lost the SCA file.
Padilla, a US Immigration and Criminal Enforcement official now working in Florida, dismissed involvement by Speaker Heastie in the alleged frauds as “not likely.”
Bronx DA Robert Johnson is presently pursuing criminal charges against the three Arroyo petition-gatherers who collected the petitions with forged voter signatures. In August 2013, the Daily News published a story about petition signatures purported to be those of Derek Jeter and Kate Moss.
The Bronx Chronicle has learned that Jonathan Dienst of WNBC News4NewYork is assembling an investigative news report based on interviews with the people making the allegations reported by the NY Post.
In the words of US Attorney Preet Bharara, “stay tuned.”