Saturday, April 28, 2012

The council’s terrorist

Last Updated: 6:43 AM, April 28, 2012
Posted: April 28, 2012


You’re fired!
Those were the words of City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan) yesterday — just hours after The Post disclosed that his spokesman was a convicted terrorist who tried to burn down a military facility in The Bronx.
The firing is certainly welcome news. But how did David Segal land his job in the first place, and hold it for more than a year — until The Post’s story appeared?
Segal served six months in federal prison and four months’ house arrest, followed by three years’ probation, after he torched an Army recruitment center in The Bronx in 2005 to protest the war in Iraq.

Chad Rachman/New York Post

City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan)
He threw a burning rag into the facility, jammed the door locks shut with glue and was carrying a note warning of a “wave of violence” across the Northeast.
In an online rant before starting his sentence, he described his arresting officers as “pigs.”
What was someone like that doing on the City Council payroll?
Rodriguez initially claimed he “didn’t know about any crime that [Segal] did or that he spent time in jail.”
But that clearly wasn’t true: Segal’s job application admitted he’d been convicted of a crime and added an explanation.
And whose signature is on that form? Why, Ydanis Rodriguez’s, of course.
Rodriguez now insists Segal wasn’t fully forthcoming about his arrest, saying the form only stated that “he had a prior arrest for an anti-war protest — that’s all it said.”
Who knows if that’s accurate? The information is redacted for legal reasons.
No matter. Fact is, even if he did try to hide the specifics, folks at Speaker Christine Quinn’s office should have made it their business to find them out once they spotted the conviction on the application.
And Quinn is wiggling further, insisting “there was no legal basis” to reject Segal based on his conviction without “a direct relationship” between the crime and his prospective job.
Hmm. Hiring someone for a government job who’s tried to burn down a government building sure sounds like a “direct relationship” to us.
As it does to at least one veteran labor lawyer, who tells The Post the council’s explanation “sounds defensive and as though they were trying to cover their tracks.”
Either way, there seems to have been a curious — and troubling — lack of concern over Segal’s criminal history by the council.
(Unless, of course, its hard-left wing viewed someone with a record like his as the perfect employee.)
Frankly, both Rodriguez and Quinn messed up on this one — big time.
Thank goodness Segal is gone.
But how shameful that it took The Post’s reporting to make that happen.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/the_council_terrorist_63Kq6QzLrg1W8pgohCpi8I#ixzz1tL9gEi00
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