Naomi’s hire love is probed
Last Updated: 2:26 AM, August 21, 2012
Posted: 12:38 AM, August 21, 2012
A source said AG Eric Schneiderman’s office is probing Rivera’s alleged misuse of state taxpayer money funneled to her crony-packed Bronx Council for Economic Development.
And a spokesman for Bronx DA Robert Johnson said, “We are investigating.” claims against Rivera.
“We’re aware of the allegations, [and] we’re looking into it,” said the spokesman, Stephen Reed.
Pinela, 40, has said Rivera, 49, made him the $75,000-a-year head of her charity in 2006, right after they started dating. The one-time insurance salesman has admitted he had no prior experience or qualifications for the job.
While he worked there, Pinela said, Rivera routinely used the BCED as her personal piggy bank, charging romantic dinners and campaign expenses to the nonprofit and hiring family members to work for it.
She made his life a living hell after he broke off the relationship in March 2009, he said.
She had his two part-time staffers fired and replaced by moles, including her son’s live-in girlfriend, who watched his every move, Pinela charged.
She also allegedly held up funding for the agency and had him fired.
In 2010, Rivera hired her new boy toy, public-school gym teacher Torres, for a $1,100-a-week full-time position as community-relations director of her district office in Morris Park.
The city Department of Education has said it is looking into the arrangement.
Torres was working full-time for the DOE at the time. He left the Rivera job in early 2011.
Rivera did not return phone messages and was not at home yesterday.
She has defended Torres’ hiring and has slammed Pinela’s claims as “simply untrue.”
Pinela yesterday said he was “shocked” but relieved that Rivera is being eyed by authorities.
“The reason why I came forward wasn’t to get revenge,” the Bronx native said. “I felt someone had to stand up and say you can’t abuse the system. This is for the people in the community I grew up in.”
Rivera is part of a Bronx political dynasty that includes her dad, Bronx Assemblyman José Rivera, 74, and brother Joel, 33, the City Council majority leader. Her brother, Rodney, 42, works for the state.
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