Bay Ridge

Judge Gentile? Councilmember weighs his options

May 19, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Councilmember Vincent Gentile could soon be leaving politics to become a civil court judge, according to a report. Photo courtesy of Gentile’s office
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Term-limited Councilmember Vincent Gentile might not wait until the end of his tenure to move on to his next job, according to a new report.

The website recently reported that Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst), who has to leave office at the end of 2017, is already busy laying the groundwork to become a Civil Court judge.

Gentile filed an application with the Judicial Screening Committee for the Kings County Democratic Party for a position as a Civil Court judge and then took part in an initial screening earlier this month, which he passed with flying colors, Kings County Politics reported.

Gentile would earn $159,900 annually as a Civil Court judge.

When asked by the Brooklyn Eagle to comment on the Kings County Politics report, Gentile’s spokesman, Travis Lamprecht, issued a statement.

“As is common with any term-limited elected official, Councilman Gentile is keeping his options open for when his term ends. Until then, he remains focused on his constituents and legislative agenda,” the statement read.

Gentile, a former state senator who also served for many years as an assistant district attorney in Queens County, first won his City Council seat in a special election in 2003. He has the longest tenure of any current councilmember.

In May of 2015, Gentile ran for Congress in a special election in the 11th Congressional District (Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island) after Republican Michael Grimm, who held the seat, resigned following a conviction on a tax fraud charge. Grimm served eight months in prison.

Gentile lost the special election to Republican Dan Donovan, the former Staten Island district attorney.

If Gentile, who lives in Bay Ridge, decides to leave politics to take a seat on the bench before his council term ends, it will set up a mad dash by potential candidates seeking his council seat.

Under New York City election rules, the mayor would have the responsibility of calling a special election to fill Gentile’s seat.

Special elections for City Council seats are nonpartisan contests, meaning there are no party primaries to select candidates. Any candidate who collects the necessary number of petition signatures to qualify to be on the ballot can run.

Several potential candidates are said to be interested in succeeding Gentile. The potential candidates include Republican Bob Capano, an adjunct professor at St. Francis College; Liam McCabe, founder of the Brooklyn South Conservative Club; Republican John Quaglione, deputy chief of staff to Republican state Sen. Marty Golden; Justin Brannan, founder of the Bay Ridge Democrats; and Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York.


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