In a stunning and unprecedented move, the City Council expelled Councilman Andy King from office today. He was voted out in an overwhelming majority of 48 “yes” votes to 2 “no” votes.
The councilman showed no remorse for the litany of allegations against him, which included the harassment of staffers and receiving kickbacks. Not once did he apologize or display accountability during the Oct. 5 hearing.
King brought up a past incident where he was called the “n-word,” and said that requests for his removal were because of his race. The councilman’s blatant denial of facts did not match up to the report filed by the Standards and Ethics Committee.
“The transcripts do not equal the summary of the report,” he said. “I haven’t done anything wrong. I ask you to ignore any slander you have seen.”
King pointed out that the when the woman who accused him of marginalizing her menstrual issues came to him saying she was bleeding, he had no idea it was her menstrual cycle. He thought it was a cut, which is why he told her to get a Band-Aid.
He claimed that he would have acted differently had he know the context of the situation.
“There’s no way if a mother comes to me privately in my ear on having women’s issues and I am insensitive,” King explained.
He also stressed that while the report stated that a staffer got a $5,000 bonus, it does not indicate that four other people received bonuses as well. But he asked that staffer for a kickback of $2,000.
King also addressed the fact that the Council claimed he owes $15,000, to which he responded that he already paid $15,000 last year when he was suspended. According to King, he and his lawyers are in negotiations with the Council lawyers regarding a payment plan for the the additional $15,000 the Council is asking for.
“It breaks my heart because I’ve done nothing wrong,” King said, adding that those against him were guilty of slander and “trying to bring down a Black man.”
Speaker Corey Johnson expressed utter disgust with King and said that this expulsion is long overdue.
“If we don’t take the action recommended by the committee ,we will likely be back here in a few months,” Johnson said. “We had hoped the last hearing would have been the last time the committee and the Council would have to respond to Councilman King and his behavior.
During the hearing, Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson said she was disappointed in King’s behavior, but was glad the three-year process was finally over.
Queens Councilmen Jimmy Van Bramer and Costa Constantinides said the Council made the mistake of not kicking out King last year.
“This was not taken lightly, but over the last year Andy, has shown no remorse for the substantiated allegations of abuse, harassment, and betrayal of public trust,” Constantinides said. “For the last year I have maintained he was no longer fit to serve in the Council, as he’s continually sought retribution instead of absolution.”