Pam Harris was at one time a correction officer and is currently a state legislator. She was responsible for enforcing the laws and making laws. That makes the charges that she violated the law even more disturbing. The only scenario that would have been worse would be if she had also been an attorney responsible for advocating for the law.
What I find even more troubling is what she is accused of doing: Diverting FEMA funds that were being directed to Sandy relief away from her devastated Coney Island community and into her own pocket.
Incredibly, her legal problems were raised as an issue in her special election campaign and the following general election. There was another, totally qualified Democrat attempting to earn the county committee endorsement for the special who later entered a Democratic primary.
The fact that the Democratic Party would, with such suspicions hovering over her nomination, place her on the ballot is a sad commentary on the role the party plays in Brooklyn. And I cannot say very much favorable about Democratic primary voters who also ignored available information in a September primary that followed her special election win.
After a lively primary during which the possibility of her being corrupt was being aired front and center, these voters gave Harris a victory just in time for her to attempt to tamper with federal witnesses.
On that one you could see the imprint of Councilmember Mark Treyger who was attempting to extend his influence as he contemplates a run for borough president. The voters should remember his role, which resulted in some of the hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars Harris is alleged to have directed to her own pocket being available for Harris to steal.
Treyger, doing the “two step” in a press release, falls back on the principle of innocent until proven guilty. That is all well and good, but what Harris’s patron should have done is also call for her resignation.
I doubt she can be effective for her district in the upcoming months. I would suspect no one in Albany will wish to work with her on legislation. And I think it is a certainty that any effort she makes to direct funding into the communities that she represents will be ignored. She should resign.
Amazingly, and I am not aware that this has ever happened , two individuals who consecutively represented the same district are under federal indictment, former Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny for multiple counts of Medicaid fraud and now Harris.
The Brooklyn Conservative Party has endorsed Congressmember Dan Donovan for re-election. Donovan, the former Staten Island district attorney, is a pivotal member of the city’s congressional delegation, as the only member of the 13-person group who serves in the majority.
Although the party and, for that matter, I have disagreed with some of his votes, the reality is that he supports the president better than 90 percent of the time and has garnered an impressive record in support of the police and military as well as being an advocate for a strong international posture for the United States.
Dan serves as a member of the Homeland Security Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee. He chairs the House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications. He is likely to be playing a key role in investigating what happened last week in Hawaii.
State Senator Golden (whom I serve as chief of staff), together with all Republican elected officials except Councilmember Matteo, appeared or lent their names to a well-attended announcement event.