Friday, August 24, 2012

State ethics panel now investigating Bx. pol Naomi Rivera

Last Updated: 4:48 AM, August 24, 2012
Posted: 1:37 AM, August 24, 2012

Soon, the only agency that won’t be investigating Naomi Rivera will be Interpol.
The powerful State Joint Commission on Public Ethics yesterday joined the growing list of probers looking into claims that the Bronx assemblywoman put two lovers on the public payroll and used her nonprofit as a personal piggy bank, The Post has learned.
An investigator for JCOPE this week asked for a meeting with one of those ex-boyfriends, Vincent Pinela, sources said.
JCOPE — set up by Gov. Cuomo in 2011 to “restore public trust” by making sure officials follow state ethics rules — has broad jurisdiction over New York legislators, elected officials, candidates and employees.
GOTTA GO: Naomi Rivera leaves her Bronx home yesterday.
Warzer Jaff
GOTTA GO: Naomi Rivera leaves her Bronx home yesterday.
The agency’s top prober reached out to Pinela, 40, after his explosive claims, revealed in The Post, that Rivera, 49, hired the personal trainer to run her crony-packed Bronx Council for Economic Development and used the nonprofit’s funds for romantic dinners and campaign expenses.
The probe is in the preliminary stage, and the 14-member commission must vote to start a full-blown probe.
Citing JCOPE policy, spokesman John Milgrim could not confirm or comment on any investigation.
Pinela declined comment.
The commission investigates potential ethics violations and, in the case of legislative officers and candidates, is required to refer its findings to the state’s Legislative Ethics Commission for enforcement, according to its Web site.
Also yesterday, the city Department of Investigation, which already launched one probe into Rivera, started another broader investigation, sources said.
Rivera’s BCED, which received city funding, took in at least $1.2 million in total government funds between 2005 and 2009, records show.
The scandal-scarred Rivera was already being eyed by the DOI’s special schools investigation unit, headed by Richard Condon, over a job she gave her latest boy toy, Brooklyn gym teacher and City Council candidate Tommy Torres, 35.
Torres raked in $18,000 working at Rivera’s Morris Park district office, during the same time he was being paid $90,000 from his full time teaching and coaching gig with the city.
She also is being probed by the US Attorney’s Office, the state attorney general and the Bronx DA.
Rivera’s powerful assemblyman dad, Jose Rivera, yesterday made his first public comments about his daughter since the scandal broke.
“She asked me, “Pop, let this finish.’ I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt, and I’ll wait until all the facts surface,” he said.
“It’s an investigation, we gotta let it take it’s course. And I think she’ll be fine.”
Jose Rivera, who was ousted as head of the Bronx Democrats in 2008 amid charges of nepotism, believe his daughter will win her upcoming re-election bid.
“I believe she’ll be re-elected. [Voters] want to se her back in Albany, because in Albany she has done what is needed.”
Additional reporting by Ikimulisa Livingston

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank God Naomi Rivera was beat by someone honest and deserving. Naomi is not intelligent at all. Both she and her half brother Joel Rivera are puppets of their father. Naomi was not working at all before her father gave her a job working for him and bribed his constituents to vote for her. Joel Rivera, by the way, was illegitimate and his existence was kept hidden from the entire family (including Jose's own wife) until Joel was a teenager and his identity was revealed to the family. All of Joses other sons are either not interested in politics or mentally unstable. Joel is not a bright person. At all. He is constantly told what to say by his mother Ivie who had a secret affair with Jose Rivera. For years Jose would go away for the weekend "on business" and he would really going to spend the weekend with Evie.The Rivera clan are all liars and dishonest. They prey on the ignorant to vote for them and wave that PR flag around to get the vote. If you look closely into the family they have broken every law imaginable. Here’s to the end of her career and hopefully the half brother and father will be ousted. There are many more candidates who are intelligent, hard working people than any of the Riveras.