Bay Ridge

Pols express shock at indictment of Harris

January 9, 2018 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Assemblymember Pamela Harris' colleagues in city and state government are shocked at her indictment. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas
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Democratic Assemblymember Pamela Harris’ colleagues in government expressed shock and sadness in the wake of the explosive news of her federal indictment on fraud and witness tampering charges on Tuesday.

Republican Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, who represents parts of Bay Ridge and Staten Island, said she was particularly shocked to see Harris charged with misusing funds meant for Superstorm Sandy relief.

“These allegations are serious and I’m both shocked and saddened. Particularly hurtful is that the indictment relates to the inappropriate use of Hurricane Sandy funds. Any violations of the public trust by an elected official cannot be tolerated and I have faith in the criminal justice system,” Malliotakis said in a statement.

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Harris, who was first elected in 2015, represents Coney Island and parts of Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge.

Councilmember Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-parts of Bensonhurst), who has been a friend and political ally of Harris, said through his campaign spokesman that the situation should be fully investigated.

“The allegations against Assemblywoman Harris are serious and troubling, and are deeply disappointing if true,” Treyger spokesman Aaron Hecht said in a statement published in the New York Post. “As elected officials, any breach of the public trust is a serious offense and must be fully investigated.”

State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Rockville Centre), the former federal prosecutor who prosecuted former Republican Congressmember Michael Grimm, who had been charged with tax fraud, also released a statement on Harris in which he tied her legal troubles to the need for ethics reform in Albany. 

“Today’s indictment is the latest chapter in a sordid book about the need for crucial ethics reform in Albany. In particular, the Legislature needs to immediately focus on the outside income of legislators, as demonstrated by this latest case. We can’t let Albany shrug this one off. We must prioritize those reforms and others to restore voters’ trust and confidence in the government,” he stated.


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