Posted by: vote4claxton | April 16, 2008

“There can be no double standard”


April 15, 2008

No Appetite For Council Probe Of Quinn

So far, no groundswell of support is building for today’s call by Councilman Charles Barron and 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care for “emergency” hearings by the Council Standards & Ethics Committee on the slush fund scandal and the subsequent fallout sparked by Speaker Christine Quinn’s proposed member item reforms.

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According to the speaker’s office, there are two ways a hearing can be called:

– Through the chair, which in this case happens to be Councilwoman Inez Dickens, who has been mentioned as a possible speaker candidate after most of her colleagues are forced from office by term limits, or:

– Via a two-thirds vote by the committee members.

I have not yet received a call back from Dickens office, but at least one committee member, Councilman Robert Jackson, insisted he has heard nothing from his colleagues that indicates they favor hearings.

“Whoever’s out there is out there, but I have not heard any type of movement from the Council about opening up any type of investigation,” Jackson told the DN’s Frank Lombardi.

Quinn’s office says there is precedent for waiting until after an official investigation into a Council matter is completed before the body comemces its own probe (See: Gallagher, Dennis).

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But Marq Claxton, founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, noted the Ethics Committee investigated former Queens Councilman Alan Jennings, who ended up being fined $5,000, stripped of all his committee assignments and stipends and censured after he was found guilty of improperly firing one employee and creating a hostile working environment.

“There can be no double standard,” said Claxton, who dangled a pair of handcuffs from his hand as he spoke at the press conference about elected officials needing to be aware that there are consequences for breaking the law – including “jail,” he added, ominously – despite the fact that no one has been accused at this point of doing anything criminal.


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