Council move would help her & ‘grope’ pol
- Last Updated: 3:37 AM, November 19, 2012
- Posted: 1:30 AM, November 19, 2012
Christine Quinn, who wants to be the first female mayor of New York, is expected to give her blessing to a district change that would help the political career of Vito Lopez — who is accused of sexually harassing four female staffers, sources told The Post.
The redistricting could help elect the alleged lecher to the City Council. In return, Quinn would curry favor with what’s left of Lopez’s Brooklyn political machine for her mayoral campaign.
The district boundary change, expected to slide through the council in three weeks, will flip the disgraced pol’s Brooklyn house one district west, from the 37th to the 34th, by a half-block.
Lopez has a vastly better chance of winning the seat from the 34th District, which aligns better with his power base in Bushwick.
The seat is due to be vacated because of term limits next year by Diana Reyna, his former aide but now a political adversary.
“Anything that is done [by the redistricting commission] is done because Quinn wants it done,” said a source close to the commission. “I don’t know why anyone would be doing him a favor.”
“This is a disaster for Quinn,” another insider told The Post. “A woman running for mayor helping the most notorious abuser of women in New York politics. That’s what this looks like.”
Quinn told The Post yesterday that she had nothing to do with moving the district line. A spokesman said she has not decided whether she will oppose the plan.
“I think that is the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard,” she said when asked of Lopez’s reputed council aspirations and of her own role in abetting them. “He wouldn’t get three votes! And I can’t imagine he would do it. He should [just] resign from the Assembly.”
Lopez no longer controls the Brooklyn Democratic Party but is close to new leader Frank Seddio.
He won re-election to his Assembly seat this month with 90 percent of the vote, despite two probes in a sex-harassment controversy that left him stripped of his influential housing-committee chairmanship.
He’s being investigated on the harassment allegations by the Staten Island district attorney.
The loss of power has soured Lopez on remaining in the Assembly, and he’s expected to quit if elected to the council.
Staying in office — any office — helps him financially. Lopez is sitting on about $1 million in unspent campaign funds. He can use it to pay his legal bills but, by law, only while holding elected office.
Quinn appoints five members of the redistricting commission. Mayor Bloomberg appointed seven members. The remaining three were appointed by the council’s minority leader, James Oddo.
The full council has three weeks to reject the plan; if it does not — as is expected — the redistricting goes to the federal Department of Justice, which must green-light it.