Tag Archive: Malcolm Smith

Mar 26 2014

Bernadette Semple: The Makings of a Congresswoman



Bernadette Semple has the makings of a Congresswoman.

Top Secret.

For those of you following the race to replace state Sen. Malcolm Smith you probably heard of Queens native, Bernadette Semple, but chances are you haven’t heard of her in politics until recently, but that’s just part of what makes her stand out from the crowd, except not for the office the Daily News claims she’s running for.

Semple, a Navy Veteran, comes to the political gates as an outsider, but what she lacks in traditional political experience, her 16 year record of service to the country more than makes up for it.

She’s definitely not your average veteran.

From serving in the Horn of Africa to Operation Enduring Freedom, where she directed a 136-member team composed of both civilian and military personnel as chief Security Officer, her accolades are many, include handling multi-million dollar budgets on the front lines against cyber terrorism while gaining invaluable experience with intergovernmental relations. 

She knows her way around DC. 

Semple’s credentials for federal office become even more clear when considering that she was approved for Top Secret Security clearance — the highest clearance determined by the US Government that a person is eligible for access to classified information.

Simply stated: Even the government trusts Bernadette Semple. So when the Daily News ran a story proclaiming that she’s running for state Senate to replace Malcolm Smith, we couldn’t help but feel what a loss for Congress! Or is it?

Currently, Semple is a Fellow at the Cyber Security Forum Initiative, a non-profit organization with a mission “to provide Cyber Warfare awareness, guidance, and security solutions through collaboration, education, volunteer work, and training to assist the US Government, US Military, Commercial Interests, and International Partners.” In other words, she’s a cyber security expert, so while the country is constantly under cyber attack (literally everyday), she’s been busy safeguarding the nation from cyber terrorists while Congressman Meeks chatted with the late Hugo Chavez.

One thing is certain, and we’re not talking about chances of victory, but rather mentioning that the level of absolute trust the feds place in Semple would be a great starting point for a candidate looking to restore integrity to an office seriously tainted by the misconduct of Congressman Meeks.


Congressman Meeks advocated for bin Laden ally

Records show Rep. Gregory Meeks took six Carribean trips with wife – on the tab of con artist

Rep. Gregory Meeks Investigated Over $40,000 ‘Gift’


Rep. Gregory Meeks cleared in House Ethics Committee loan probe


Pol’s ‘crooked’ pals

More to follow.


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/03/bernadette-semple-a-great-candidate/

Mar 21 2014

Navy Veteran Aims To Replace Malcolm Smith


She has a nice outsider’s vibe.

Let the journey begin.

Navy combat veteran and cyber security expert, Bernadette Semple is ready to lead once again with her first foray into politics: battling Malcolm Smith as well as two attorneys in a heated primary for control of SD 14 in south Queens. Oh, did we mention Leroy Comrie is also a possibility?

Read more about her below.

[From NYDN] A 48-year-old Navy veteran who saw combat in the Horn of Africa is wading into the hostile waters of southeastern Queens politics.

Cyber security expert Bernadette Semple has added her name to the growing field of candidates planning to take on embattled state Sen. Malcolm Smith in the Democratic primary.

“This district needs a fresh start,” said Semple, who grew up in the Astoria Houses before her family moved to Laurelton.

“You have some people who are greedy and selfish,” Semple said, without naming names. “They only want to help their friends and certain interest groups.”

Semple, one of 10 children, said her biggest strength is that she is “not a politician.”

It’s been almost a year since Smith was arrested by federal authorities for his role in a scheme to bribe GOP officials to back him in a potential Mayoral bid. He pleaded not guilty.

Earlier this year, Smith announced he would be seeking re-election.

For the full article: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/navy-vet-bid-office-queens-article-1.1724873



Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/03/navy-veteran-aims-to-replace-malcolm-smith/

Mar 12 2014

Judge Denies Request From Embattled Pols


Truth and justice cannot await.

Save the date.

A request to postpone the corruption trial of embattled former City Councilman Dan Halloran, GOP Vice Chairman Vince Tabone,  and state Sen. Malcolm Smith was denied last week and will proceed as set on June 2nd.

[From The Queens Gazette] A federal court judge has refused to delay the June 2 corruption trial of embattled state Sen. Malcom Smith, former City Councilmember Dan Halloran and Queens GOP Vice Chairman Vince Tabone. 

Attorneys for the three disgraced politicos last month requested that the trial be delayed to the end of the year, so it would not interfere with the 2013 primary elections. But Judge Kenneth Karas, who is overseeing the trial in White Plains, issued a finding on February 28 in which he denied the request for postponement.

Smith was indicted by a federal grand jury in April 2013, for allegedly plotting to bribe Republican Party officials for a spot on the party’s 2013 primary ballot. The indictment also charged Halloran, Tabone and others in the scheme. Smith, 56, and Halloran, 42, face up to 45 years in prison if convicted. 
The indictment charges that Smith, a democrat, allegedly sought help from Halloran, a conservative Republican, to get his name on the Republican Party primary. As a Democrat, Smith, under current law, needed Republican Party support in at least three boroughs to run as a Republican candidate without changing his party affiliation, authorities said.

Prosecutors charge that Smith, in an attempt to gather that support, asked Halloran to schedule meetings with Republican Party leaders and negotiate thousands of dollars in bribes. Meanwhile, Halloran and Tabone pocketed thousands of dollars of the bribe money, prosecutors said.
Defense attorneys for Smith and Halloran say their client’s actions are not considered bribery under New York state law and are asking the court to toss some of the charges.
Karas said Smith, Halloran and Tabone will go on trial on June 2, as originally planneed.


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/03/halloran-tabone-smith-face-setbacks-in-courtroom/

Feb 20 2014

Leroy Comrie To Run Against Malcolm Smith?

Senator Comrie?

Senator Comrie?

The race for Malcolm Smith‘s senate seat is heating up.

Despite his federal corruption charges, Smith has defiantly declared his run along with attorneys Munir Avery and Clyde Vanel, but there’s still talk of one more candidate entering the race.

Perhaps one of the most credible democrats from south Queens is Leroy Comrie, a former City Councilman now serving as Deputy Borough President under Melinda Katz.

According to inside sources, Comrie is being urged to make a run by Queens Democrats.

Do they smell blood? Absolutely, Smith is weak. Is it a long shot? Maybe. Can it be done? Certainly. Comrie has more than ample name recognition, the ability to raise money, plus he’s a skilled campaigner and an experienced statesman, so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see him restore integrity in the wake of Malcolm Smith’s political scandals, or to see why people would want him to do it.

Surely, the deputy borough president is a cushy gig with a nice salary, an office with a view of the remains of a beautiful fountain, even a driver – but this may not be the dream job of a skilled lawmaker.

Leroy Comrie, will you run again?


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/leroy-comrie-against-malcolm-smith/

Jul 20 2013

Queens Politicians Attend Court On Federal Corruption Charges

cuffsHalloran, Tabone, Smith et al. appear in White Plains court on corruption charges. Highlights include Tabone’s request for a separate trial.

[From NY1]

One by one, Smith, Councilman Dan Halloran and former Republican party officials filed into federal court in White Plains on Friday. 

It was their first court appearance since being charged in a massive bribery scheme.

“Justice is going to take a long time to get, but once we get there, I am sure I will be very happy with the outcome,” Halloran said.

They are accused of trying to fix this year’s mayoral ballot, allegedly exchanging thousands of dollars in cash, so-called payoffs for Republican party officials to agree to put Smith, a Democrat, on the GOP line.

They have all pleaded not guilty.

In court on Friday, attorneys for both Smith and Halloran said they will make motions to dismiss some of the charges.

“I think the more we get into the legal issues here, and the facts and circumstances of the case, the more confident we are about the outcome,” said Smith attorney Ross Kramer.

“What they’re charging him with is not covered by the law,” said Halloran attorney Vinoo Varghese.

An attorney for Vincent Tabone, a former vice chair of the Queens Republicans, said he also wants the charges dismissed. If not that, then Tabone wants a separate trial.

Full story: http://manhattan.ny1.com/content/politics/political_news/185813/several-lawmakers-appear-in-court-on-corruption-charges#sthash.G6bslJmZ.dpuf


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/07/queens-politicians-attend-court-on-corruption-charges/

Apr 19 2013

Halloran, Smith To Be Arraigned Next Week


Yesterday a federal grand jury officially indicted Councilman Dan Halloran and Senator Malcolm Smith et al. in a case involving bribery.

All defendants are scheduled to be arraigned this Tuesday in White Plains federal court.

More to follow.


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/04/halloran-smith-to-be-arraigned-next-week/

Apr 03 2013

Bribery Scandal Informant has $keletons in his closet

Rockland County Times: The informant reported to be in the center of the Rockland County/New York City corruption fiasco currently rocking the political universe recently pled guilty to charges pertaining to a default on a loan of over $100 million to Citigroup.

Morris Stern of Monsey, also known as Moshe and Mark Stern, was in the center of a famous case which earned him a 2010 headline in Forbes Magazine as “Citigroup’s Bad Boy: how an untested businessman got a $126 million loan–and personally owes every dime of it.”

The bad deal was made in 2007 when Stern was only 2007. His case reads like a look into the world of bad business practices that dominated banking prior to the 2008/2009 financial meltdown.

“Several banks were pitching me at the same time,” says Stern. “Every bank, including JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank, wanted product.”

Stern bought 11 shopping malls with the $126 million and they promptly floundered. Ultimately he filed for bankruptcy and Citigroup only recouped $40 million of the money.

Full Article: http://www.rocklandtimes.com/2013/04/03/informant-owed-citigroup-tens-of-millions/


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/04/cw-in-bribery-scandal-rockland/

Apr 03 2013

Morris Stern Named As CW In Bribery Scandal

Screen shot 2013-04-03 at 4.52.32 PMA news publication, Voize Iz Neias, also known as The Voice of the Orthodox Jewish Community named Monsey Chosid as the cooperating witness in the statewide political scandal.

Rockland County, NY - A chasidic Jew from Rockland County has been identified as the cooperating witness who helped the FBI uncover a massive plot to rig the 2013 New York City mayoral race and led to the arrest of six politicians who allegedly accepted bribes.

Multiple NYC media outlets are reporting Morris Stern as the witness who was instrumental in pulling together the arrests of Senator Malcolm Smith of Queens, City Councilman Dan Halloran of Queens, Bronx GOP chairman Joseph Savino,  Queens GOP vice president Vincent Tabone and Mayor Noramie Jasmin and Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret, both of Spring Valley, as previously reported on VIN News.

According to an article in 2010 by Forbes.com, (http://onforb.es/txZ5HN) the 40 year old Stern who is also known as Mark Stern or Moshe Stern is a Monsey resident who was born in Argentina…….

Stern and the undercover FBI agent led the politicians involved to believe that they were wealthy developers looking for to curry favor and would use their economic resources to help Smith bribe his way into City Hall in exchange for political favors that would pave the way for their upstate development projects.

For full article: http://www.vosizneias.com/127356/2013/04/03/rockland-county-ny-monsey-chosid-named-as-key-figure-in-mass-nyc-political-bribery-scandal%22


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/04/monsey-chosid-named-as-cw-in-bribery-scandal/

Apr 02 2013

Shafran Worked For Senator Accused of Election Rigging


Shady work history for mystery candidate.

The 19th Council race just got real interesting.

Austin Shafran has a history of being the grand communicator of corrupt politicians in NYC. First he worked for a corrupt legislature and then for a corrupt Senator as his Press Secretary.

Yesterday, we wrote about Shafran’s role in excuse-making for the corrupt and dysfunctional legislature up in Albany, but what wasn’t discussed is that Shafran also worked as the goto political spinmaster for Senator Malcolm Smith – the same Senator that was arrested in a statewide FBI corruption probe that alleges he attempted to rig the Mayoral election through fraud and bribes early this morning.

If elected as City councilman, Shafran would be entrusted by the public with access to tax payer funds and legislative decision-making authority.




Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/04/shafran-represented-senator-accused-of-rigging-mayoral-election/

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