AWKWARD! Local Politicians Caught Giggling, Looking at Cellphone During Church Service

AWKWARD! Local Politicians Caught Giggling, Looking at Cellphone During Church Service
by David Greene

A seasoned politician will always know to watch what they say around a “dead” microphone and to be watchful of the cameras and not be caught in an embarrassing moment– as two local newcomers to the City Council were caught giggling and looking at a cellphone towards the end of a 2-hour church service, for six residents killed in the Prospect Avenue blaze.

During the embarrassing moment Councilman Ritchie Torres, 29, who represents the 15th District and is the youngest member of the council and is also the deputy Majority Leader and Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, 39, who represents the 16th District and is the chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee, were captured giggling in the first pew at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s Church as Gibson looked at her cellphone– as the Ambassador to Ghana sat less than five-feet away.

At the church service (l-r): Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, Permanent Representative of Ghana to the United Nations, Dr. Barfour Adjei-Baawuah, Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States, Giselle and George Ntim, director of guest relations and Community Services at N.Y. Marriott Marques Hotel and Councilman Ritchie Torres and Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson.–Photo by David Greene

One organizer of the event who declined to be identified, responded after seeing the photo, “Wow. I would not comment since it’s a church service, but a picture says a thousand words.” The source claimed that Gibson had just arrived during the last half-hour of the 2-hour event, to deliver her speech, the photo was taken during the last five-minutes of the service.

Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Barfour Adjei-Baawuah said of the incident, “I thought these people are hypocrites who should be ignored. I think they were preoccupied with something else because their demeanor doesn’t reflect the sentiments they expressed in their speeches.”

Without apologizing, Gibson defended her actions, stating, “I attend church very, very often and the only time I’ve ever looked at my phone obviously, is to look at a message and I was at the service to support the Ghanaian community and Council member Torres.”

Gibson added, “I did have plans afterwards and I was waiting for someone to get back to me on whether they were picking me up from that location or not, so I did look at my phone very briefly. But at the end of the conversation that the Councilman and I were talking about was rutilated (sic) because I had not seen him in a couple of days.”

Several attempts were made, but Councilman Torres’ office declined to comment.

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