Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Election Board pick could help Bloomberg stop override of NYPD bill veto

Councilman Erik Dilan, a swing vote in the city council's move to boost citizens' right to sue over racial profiling, is eyed to be the panel's new chief.

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Updated: Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 4:40 PM

 Mayor Michael Bloomberg along with housing officials held a press conference discussing the housing conditions in the Bronx.Councilman Eric Dilan New York City Chair of Housing and Buildings Committee.

Victor Chu for New York Daily News

New York Councilman Erik Dilan, center, is flanked by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn along with, at far right, disgraced ex-assemblyman Vito Lopez. Supporters of a bill to rein in the NYPD see Dilan as the vote to overturn Bloomberg's veto of the measure as the city eyes  Dilan to fill an empty Board of Elections post.

The New York City Board of Elections is considering a City Council member to be its executive director — an appointment that could help Mayor Michael Bloomberg kill legislation that would expand the right to sue the police for racial profiling.
The name of the councilman, Erik Dilan (D-Brooklyn), has emerged in recent days to fill the $170,000-a-year post, which has been vacant since Executive Director George Gonzalez was canned in October 2010, sources said.
But Dilan is being counted on by supporters of the racial profiling legislation to be the crucial 34th vote to override Bloomberg’s veto of the measure.
If Dilan is appointed by the Board of Elections before the override vote, the profiling bill most likely would go down to defeat.
Bloomberg has said the legislation is a threat to public safety, and he has vowed to use all the levers of power at his command to chip away at the veto-proof margin the legislation enjoyed when it passed the Council.
One source said the mayor is supporting Dilan’s appointment - but a spokesman for the mayor, Marc LaVorgna, said that was not the case. The mayor has taken no position on Dilan, LaVorgna said.
The board is fast approaching the task of running a competitive election for the first open mayor’s seat in 12 years.
George Gonzalez, former Board of Elections chief, was fired in 2010, leaving the post empty.

Thomas Monaster/Daily News

George Gonzalez, former Board of Elections chief, was fired in 2010, leaving the post empty.

Doing so without an executive director would expose the embattled agency to even more criticism.
Dilan, an ally of disgraced former Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez, had not formally applied for the job as of Monday evening and didn’t respond to a request for comment.
But he is said to be open to taking the position because he will soon be out of a job: He cannot run for re-election to the Council because of term limits.
At least one other candidate has emerged for the executive director’s post.
Michael Ryan, a Staten Island Democrat who previously served as a Board of Elections commissioner, is openly campaigning for the job and reportedly has the support of about five sitting commissioners.
Either candidate would need the backing of six of the 10 members of the bipartisan board to get the job.
Some insiders question Dilan’s qualifications to run the multimillion-dollar agency. He reportedly is not a college graduate.
“There’s been some talk in the background about possibly him coming in, but he doesn’t really have much in the way of experience,” one board source said.
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