Sunday, August 12, 2007


The annual Dominican Day parade was celebrated with colorful fanfare and the pride of thousands of Dominicans celebrating the island's release from the colonization of Spain. However, one famous Dominican was declared "person non grata" by certain Dominican parade officials.

Guillermo Linares, the NYC Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs was threatened with being forcefully removed by parade officials if he marched with Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the head of the parade. The root of the controversy was the belief that Linares had a hand in "dissing" selected Dominican officials by not allowing them in the Mayor's inner circle of the parade. The issue was further complicated by the power structure of the Dominican day parade. One entity claims to be in charge while another says that it is the true representative of policy governing the festival.

Linares has had a long history of political representation in the city of New York. His record of achievement is lackluster to say the least and questionable at best. However, when it came to doing a favor for billionaire Ronald Perelman, Linares was at the ready. The following is an excerpt.

"But now it comes out that McAndrews & Forbes holding company paid Washington Heights Councilman Guillermo Linares (D-L) $10,000 in 1998 to make three trips to the Dominican Republic.
Linares, who just reported the payment to the city's Conflicts of Interest Board, says he was investigating the counterfeiting of Perelman-owned Montecristo cigars.
"The idea was to figure out how to prevent it," Linares told The News' Michael Finnegan yesterday. "My role was simply to help make the appropriate connections."
Linares, the first Dominican elected to public office in the U.S., says the City Council's legal staff cleared the job before he signed on."

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