NY Post: State ethics panel now investigating Bronx Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera


From today’s NY Post:

Soon, the only agency that won’t be investigating Naomi Rivera will be Interpol.

The powerful State Joint Commission on Public Ethics yesterday joined the growing list of probers looking into claims that the Bronx assemblywoman put two lovers on the public payroll and used her nonprofit as a personal piggy bank, The Post has learned.

An investigator for JCOPE this week asked for a meeting with one of those ex-boyfriends, Vincent Pinela, sources said.

JCOPE — set up by Gov. Cuomo in 2011 to “restore public trust” by making sure officials follow state ethics rules — has broad jurisdiction over New York legislators, elected officials, candidates and employees.

JCOPE is the latest agency to launch an investigation into the allegation of nepotism and misuse of taxpayer funds against embattled Assemblywoman Rivera.

For the first time, her Dad, Assemblyman Jose Rivera commented publicly about the allegations to the NY Post.

“She asked me, “Pop, let this finish.’ I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt, and I’ll wait until all the facts surface,” he said.

“It’s an investigation, we gotta let it take it’s course. And I think she’ll be fine.”

Although his scandal-scarred daughter faces a tougher re-election, Rivera expressed confidence in her re-election.

“I believe she’ll be re-elected. [Voters] want to se her back in Albany, because in Albany she has done what is needed.”

Early this week, Joe Ithier, a former colleague of Rivera’s when both worked for Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, told El Diario NY columnist and blogger Roberto Perez that back then Naomi didn’t have the “caliber to be an elected official.”  He added that her poor attendance record in Albany became a source of embarrassment to the Bronx delegation. Ouch!

Finally, Perez noted that Rep. Nydia Velazquez is not the source of the leak about Rivera’s secret Facebook page. Perez’s source say that challenger Mark Gjonaj hired an opposition researcher who uncovered the dirty laundry and then apparently tipped off the NY Post. I’m glad for the clarification.

Stay tuned.

Read more – State ethics panel now investigating Bronx Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera – NYPOST.com.

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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