CM Arroyo petition fraud trial begins today at 930am in Bx Supreme Court. Criminal Judge Best presiding, Part: A. (H/t to @arroyowatch for staying on top of this. )
Defendants: Elbin Lopez attorney, Marturano, Legal Aid Society; Luis Vargas’ lawyer is Mr. Levine, Bronx Defenders; and Betty Julien is presented by Mr. O’Connell 18B.
Burning Questions: Will these three veteran House of Arroyo bannermen quietly accept their beheading? Or is winter coming for Clan Arroyo?
Many veteran petition gathers and operatives I know agree that party nominating petitions are normally thoroughly vetted before being bound and filed with the Board of Elections. Privately, they say the three defendants had to have been directed by the council member, herself or her petition captain, Richie Izquierdo (her felonious fraudster nephew) to gather signatures by any means necessary. A few years ago, Izquierdo pleaded guilty to defrauding/embezzling funds from the South Bronx Community Corporation, an organization his Assemblymember grandmother founded and his City Councilmember aunt once ran. He served a brief sentence and is presently completing probation.
Defendants Vargas and Julien are longtime Arroyo allies and sycophants. Allegedly, Julien was a regular volunteer at Clan Arroyo community events. Surely, she was surprised that CM Arroyo accused her of fraud and filed a criminal complaint. According to sources, no one counted on a Bronx ADA not playing ball and “throwing” the grand jury indictment. Or a grand jury actually indicting the trio for petition fraud.