Some crossed wires in Bronx bribe case


With all this talk of now EX-Assemblyman Nelson Castro being wired as an FBI informant to bring down Assemblyman Eric Stevenson in a bribery scandal, and all the jokes (?) about local pols patting each other down for wires, we’ve been wondering if Nelson looked like he was hooked up for a cardiogram under his shirt.

Turns out it the image doesn’t exactly match the reality.

Ed McDonald, now a private attorney representing the Patrolmens Benevolent Association in that Bronx cop ticket fixing case, ran the federal Organized Crime Strike Force in Brookyn back in the 80’s, and knows well about “wired” informants, usually with names ending in vowels.

There really never were wires, said Ed, so much as small recording or electronic transmitting devices.

“What you didn’t want to happen was the device go dead on you, and didn’t know if the mob guys had found it. You couldn’t tell if they were going to kill the guy, and you’d have break down the door and run in to save him.”

And speaking of recordings, the NYPD’s case against those cops involves 10,000 secretly recorded phone calls, which the defense lawyers have NOT gone through.

Ed’s legal motions filed in February argue the judge should toss the case, since the department’s Internal Affairs cops crossed into murky and intrusive legal territory by tapping precinct stationhouse phones when they should have exhausted other legal means, such as running undercover sting operations. Bronx DA Rob Johnson, not particulary loved by cops these days for a number of reasons, is due to file opposing motion papers June 6.


We can imagine Boro Prez Ruben Diaz Jr.’s deep sigh of relief last Tuesday as Mayuh Mike finally made it official the city was inking a deal to put a major ice palace in the long dormant Kingsbridge Armory.

If the deal had slipped on the ice, as the prior deal with Related Cos. over living wages did, it could have been a big embarassment to Ruben and his future political plans.

The rink’s set to open in 2017 and draw two million spectators a year, about the time Ruben could be looking to cross over the Third Avenue Bridge to run for some citywide office. But quien sabe if the developer can actually make a go of it?


Not that anyone pays much attention to him in Albany these days, but state Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. loves to put out weekly missives of what’s on his mind, ending with “This is Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz and this is what you should know.”

His latest Rev-o-gram responds to folks wondering if he and protege Luis Sepulveda, the new assemblyman for Parkchester/Castle Hill, have split the blanket, so to speak, over Luis backing Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio for mayor, while The Rev is backing looooong, long shot candidate Rev. Erick Salgado.

The Rev is still a power in his Soundview/Morrisania/Melrose political feifdom, and Luis owes the Rev mucho thanks. We expect they’ll continue to stick with each other, even as the rumor mill has The Rev being not all that happy with Assemblyman Carl Heastie as current Bronx Democratic Party Boss, and Luis, an ambitious guy, swearing up and down he wishes Carl a long and happy reign.

This is Kappy, and this is what you should know….


Charlie Rangel’s been a busy guy, making up for lost times, plowing his added piece of congressional turf in the west Bronx. He’s held a couple of senior events, pulling deputy secretaries from various federal agencies as guest speakers.

He really outdid himself Monday, April 22, spending the full day meeting with Bronx constituents and leaders, including Councilman Fernando Cabrera, with Council candidate Andrew Cohen TWICE at different locations (Cliff Stanton, Cliff Stanton. There, we gave Cohen’s main challenger equal mention), Lehman College President Ricardo Fernandez, Bronx Chamber Prexy Lenny Caro, and holding an evening Town Hall with rent-challenged Tracy Towers tenants.


Let’s hear it for the ladies – on the bench, with some Bronx ones who can take a bow for some recent high-level judical appointments.

Obviously, the borough’s shining star is U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, out of the Soundview Houses, now renamed after her.

The latest group of women jurists to rise to high courts are:

* Analisa Torres, recently confirmed by the Senate as a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District in Manhattan. Torres lived in Hunts Point as a child, and most recently served as a state Supreme Court justice in Manhattan. She also sits on the board of directors at WHEDCO in Morrisania.

*Bronxite Jenny Rivera, just confirmed by the full state Senate to sit on the state Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, after her nomination by Gov. Cuomo.

*And of course, the new Bronx Surrogate, Nelida Malave-Gonzalez, who won with the backing of the Bronx Democratic Party.


Estella Diggs, the first African-American Bronx assemblywoman, repping Morrisania from 1973-1980. Died April 18, three days shy of her 97th birthday.


April 14 – BronxTalk’s Gary Axelbank, April 25 – Al Pacino (Alfredo James Pacino ) , April 26 – Bronx Boro Prez Ruben Diaz Jr., April 29 – State Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr.,

April 30 – Former Bronx Boro Prez Freddie Ferrer, May 1 – Former state Senator Efrain Gonzalez, May 1 – Former state Consumer Protection Board commissioner Debra Martinez.

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