In a functioning state, Marty Golden would be last week’s uncontested chutzpah champion.
Brooklyn’s last elected Republican is in a tough rematch against Andrew Gounardes to hold his state Senate seat at a time when Democrats need just one more seat to claim full control of the Legislature and power in Albany.
At a debate, Golden was asked about hitting a woman with his SUV in 2005.
“It was an accident!” Golden yelled about 74-year-old Hariklia Zafiropoulos, who spent the final months of her life in the hospital and whose estate he quietly paid $750,000. “An accident where a woman crossed the street, crossed against the light … my rear view window hit her. She went down. She suffered a head injury. It was found at the hospital that she had cancer, cancer of the stomach, she could die six months later.”
“I feel sorry for the family,” the 68-year-old pol — who retired from the NYPD in 1983 after being hit by a car on the job and has collected disability pay since, and who’s racked up nearly a dozen school-zone speeding tickets since his last campaign — told the website Bklyner, complaining about the constituent who asked about his accident: “They should have never brought that up.”
Speaking of things that should never have been brought up, how about the DOA bill that upstate Republican Assemblyman Joe Errigo, now running as a third-party candidate after losing his primary last month, allegedly introduced in exchange for a chump-change bribe?
Errigo, who retired in 2010 after a decade in the Assembly, was the party’s last-minute pick in 2014 when fiscally conservative Republican Assemblyman Bill Nojay killed himself after he was hit with federal charges related to his theft of $1 million from a friend, which came after he’d taken a second friend for $700,000 in hopes of making the first one whole.
Errigo won the seat, and had nearly served out his term when he was arrested and promptly confessed, according to the FBI, to taking $5,500 last year from an unnamed lobbyist for introducing a bill that appears to have been written to benefit a particular Whole Foods market trying to open at a politically contested site outside of Rochester on behalf of an unnamed Democratic ‘Assembly Member A’ of the Transportation Committee.
The handful of Democrats who match A’s description have all issued strong denials, with press-loathing committee chair David Gantt offering in a rare interview what seems like an air-tight alibi: He’s only been in Albany for about seven days over the past two years as he’s dealt with a kidney ailment, though I’d note that hasn’t stopped him from running for reelection.
One lobbyist who the Albany Times-Union says has “deep ties to Rochester politicians” told the paper he knew nothing of the unnamed individuals the feds described. “Sorry,” he said. “Haven’t seen David Gantt since the night of the Gloria incident. Not me.”
The incident being the night the lobbyist punched 71-year-old columnist Gloria Winston Al-Sarag in the jaw, after the two had fallen out in part because she’d noted his long relationship with Nojay. That, after the feds alleged the assemblyman had passed some of his stolen million to an “unnamed lobbyist.”
Back to Errigo, his bill never got out of committee. Even if it had somehow passed the full Democrat-controlled Assembly, it had no way to become law since the Senate had no matching one.
Errigo’s attorney has suggested maybe his client only took the cash because he’d lost a few marbles.
Maybe! Then again, for every boss like Shelly Silver who ducked the law for decades while making millions, we seem to have crooks and cads with nothing but chutzpah, who can’t even steal straight.