By BOB KAPPSTATTER
Available: One northeast Bronx City Council seat.
With longtime local Councilman Larry (Bagel Guy) Seabrook convicted Thursday on federal conspiracy and wire and mail fraud charges, he will automatically lose his council seat.
Mayor Bloomberg is expected to call a special non-partisan election, with the vote included in the Nov. 6 general election.
With Seabrook term-limited anyway, candidates have already emerged to run for his seat next year, including Andy King, who ran against Seabrook last time.
King works for the 1199 SEIU union, which unlike his last race, is backing him this time. King has already accumulated a healthy campaign warchest.
Seabrook’s daughter, Latisha, has also been rumored as a candidate, but that would be a poltical stretch.
“It would be a gross aberration of politics for anybody to help Latisha,” said one influential Bronx political insider. “No one could possibly be that stupid.”
Also on the rumor mill for a possible run for Seabrook’s seat is Marickka Scott, former chief of staff to Bronx Democratic County leader Carl Heastie and currently the Democratic co-deputy leader of the Bronx Board of Elections.
Seabrook’s 12th Council District covers Co-op City, Williamsbridge, Wakefield and Eastchester, running from E. Gunhill Ave. in the south up to the Westchester County line.
Heastie, a longtime friend and protege of Seabrook’s, issued a statement yesterday, saying he’s “very sorry to hear the news and is praying for Larry Seabrook and his family.”
Although a mentor to assemblyman Heastie, Seabrook sided with former Party Boss and assemblyman Jose Rivera in the Rainbow Rebellion led by Heastie and then-Assemblyman Ruben Diaz Jr. who went on to become borough president that toppled Rivera.
Seabrook has been a longtime local power in the Bronx, having also served in the state Assembly and Senate, and in the Council since 2002.
His lengthy history as a political rascal - tap dancing close to the legal edge of misusing public and campaign funds - earned him the nickname The Fox.
The “bagel’ sobriquet came from Seabrook putting in a $177 Council expense account for a $7 bagel. The federal jury, however, did not convict him on those counts involving alleged kickbacks for pushing a contract on work at the New Yankee Stadium.
Federal prosecutors charged the 61-year-old politician in a broad corruption scheme, presenting evidence that he funnels at least $600,000 in city funding to family, friends and his mistress through a network of do-nothing non-profits he controlled.
His first trial ended in a deadlocked jury. This time, a jury deliberated three days before convicting him on nine of the 12 counts in the indictment. Each count carries up to 20 years in prison.
Rose Gill Hearn, commissioner of the city Department of Investigation, which initiated the probe, called Seabrook “a master of diversion and misdirection.”
“His career as an elected official is over, and his life as a convicted felon begins.”
Seabrook joins former Bronx state Senator Pedro Espada as a convicted felon. Espada was recently convicted in Brooklyn federal court of looting a half million dollars from his Soundview Healthcare clinic to live the high life. He still faces trial in Manhattan federal court on tax evasion charges.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not BxTimes.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BxTimes.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.