Assemblyman Vito Lopez represents Brooklyn, but for at least five years during his tenure, he admitted that he actually lived in Queens — an apparent violation of state law.
This bombshell revelation comes courtesy of a $70,000 mortgage that Lopez (D–Williamsburg) and longtime girlfriend, City Planning Commissioner Angela Battaglia, took out in 1997 to buy a summer hideaway on Long Island’s tony North Fork.
On the notarized document, Lopez indicated that his primary home address was on 71st Avenue in Glendale, Queens — outside the lawmaker’s Williamsburg-Bushwick district.
State law requires public officials to live within the districts they represent — and it’s a felony to do otherwise. But few cases regarding a lawmaker’s residency have ever been prosecuted because the cases can be difficult to prove.
It is also illegal to vote outside of your assigned polling station. Yet during the time that Lopez was telling Suffolk County record-keepers that he lived in Queens, the Assemblyman voted at a polling station in Williamsburg, Board of Elections officials confirmed this week. He was registered to vote at a Conselyea Street address during that period.
Lopez’s documented sojourn in Queens officially ended in 2002, when he and Battaglia amended the Long Island deed to list their permanent address as 64 Conselyea St. — the location inside Lopez’s district.
Lopez now says he lives in an apartment on Stanhope Street in Bushwick. But he continues to spend much of his time with Battaglia in the Queens condo. Two weeks ago, he said that he has been shuttling between Battaglia’s residence and his two daughters’ homes outside the city while undergoing cancer treatments.
Lopez has been dogged by questions about his residency for the past two months.
In October, a team of Daily News reporters stalked Lopez and Battaglia outside the Queens condo for four days, finding that Lopez parked his car in a reserved spot, arriving there with his girlfriend and staying overnight.
The New York Post also questioned where Lopez lived in 2005, following a complaint that Lopez’s Conselyea Street house was a fake address.
On Wednesday night, Lopez’s chief of staff, Debra Feinberg, got back to us and said in a statement that “Assemblyman Lopez has never lived in Queens. His addresses were 64 Conselyea St. and now 411 Stanhope St.”