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JERRY KASSAR
JERRY KASSAR

Was the firing of FBI Director Comey all that unexpected? Regardless of your political affiliation or for that matter non-affiliation, I believe most Americans would agree that he botched the handling of a number of important investigations surrounding last year’s presidential race.

The FBI did not botch the investigations – its director did by giving instructions which brought to public light potentially damaging but still unproven allegations.  

I think it is necessary to separate the FBI investigations from the questionable role of the FBI’s leader. My sense is that a different leader would have felt the need to be sure before informing Congress about anything.

And the Trump campaign has clearly suffered from the strong implication by the FBI and leaks at the FBI that have portrayed Russian involvement as being coordinated with the campaign, although I must admit that then-candidate Trump spent too much time applauding Putin.  

The buck stops with the director and in this case actually started with the director.  And of course, both parties in Congress had lost faith in Comey.

Now, we will get all the fallout of a decision that should have been made on January 21. The media and the Democrats will question the president’s motives even though the latter reported the details on the mistakes that ended his FBI career and the former were the first and harshest to criticize.

The president was elected with a multi-faceted agenda. I hope he and the Congress can get back on track.

***

Frankly I do not understand how Mayor de Blasio could defend the outlandish behavior of Corrections Commissioner Ponte and many members of the Department of Corrections senior management.

To use government vehicles as though they are part of your benefits package is grossly improper. And to be the senior manager of a department in which many members of top management are doing the same thing proves that the commissioner was very happy to turn a blind eye to fraudulent behavior.

And the excuse that he did not know the rules is absurd. We are not talking about running to the corner for a loaf of bread. In his case, literally weeks went by in which the vehicle was used by him and his wife for vacation purposes.

Much the same occurred with other senior staff.  Plus, to add insult to injury, he was repeatedly away when a number of serious disturbances were taking place on Rikers Island.

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis — who is seeking the Republican and Conservative nominations for mayor — has called on the city comptroller to audit all agencies to see if this is a widespread practice.

Based on the way the mayor reacted, I have no faith that he even considers it wrong. But his Investigations commissioner who used to be his campaign treasurer does and has said so officially.   

***

The Brooklyn Conservative Party has endorsed Steve Saperstein for the 48th City Council seat which is currently held by Chaim Deutsch.

Steve, who is also the Republican candidate, is an attorney but has worked as a teacher for the deaf. He has been quite successful in raising money and has the advantage of running in a district that Trump solidly won.

There is a second excellent candidate in the race, a longtime community activist Democrat Kalman Yeger who will run a strong primary against Deutsch. Kalman was also seeking the Conservative Party endorsement, but the leadership needed to make a choice.   

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