Seabrook corruption trial: ‘Missing’ mistress


‘Missing’ mistress – m.NYPOST.com.

By Bruce Golding

They knew where to find her.

City Councilman Larry Seabrook’s mistress frequently went AWOL from the nonprofits she purportedly ran — but could usually be reached at the Bronx Democrat’s legislative office, a former employee testified yesterday at the embattled politician’s corruption trial.

Philesha Jude said that when she was hired as Gloria Jones-Grant’s executive assistant in 2005, Jones-Grant generally showed up three or four days a week at the Bronx offices of several nonprofits that Seabrook allegedly controlled and funded with grants he’d arranged through his council office.

But over time, those appearances dwindled to just two or three days a week, “and sometimes it was one time a week,” Jude testified in Manhattan federal court.

When she needed to contact her missing boss, Jude said she’d call Jones-Grant’s cellphone — and if that failed, she’d ring Seabrook’s office at 250 Broadway in Manhattan, usually “a couple times a week.”

“Of all those calls, how often did you reach her?” prosecutor Steve Lee asked.

“Eighty to 85 percent,” Jude answered.

Jude, 29, of Queens also confessed yesterday that she stiffed the nonprofits for upward of $50,000 in “bridge loans.”

She said she wrote herself more than 20 checks, totaling between $50,000 and $60,000, to cover her salary when the nonprofits were insolvent and awaiting approval of council “slush fund” contracts arranged by Seabrook.

But Jude said she repaid only $4,000 before she quit in 2008, and hadn’t made any payments since then.

During a heated cross-examination, defense lawyer Edward Wilford repeatedly accused Jude of stealing the money and committing “hundreds and hundreds” of crimes through her forgeries and back-dating of official documents.

The fierce questioning prompted repeated murmurs of “mm-hmm” from a contingent of about two dozen Seabrook supporters.

Jude maintained Jones-Grant directed or sanctioned all of her illegal acts.

Jones-Grant has been granted immunity to testify against Seabrook later in the trial.

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, FoxNews.com LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email MBenjamin9@optimum.net.
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