The Anthrax scare that shut down Rep. Anthony Weiner’s Queens office might have been sent from a home-grown Brooklyn nut.
Officials said this week that the letter carrying the powder — which later turned out to be antacid — was mailed from the 11235 zip code, which encompasses Sheepshead Bay and Manhattan Beach.
Nine members of Weiner’s staff had to be decontaminated after being exposed to the antacid on March 25, as the powder was determined to be nonhazardous until two days later.
Federal investigators were still trying to track down who sent the letter, which was written in block letters, unsigned and filled with threats related to Weiner’s vote on the health care reform package.
Weiner was in Washington, DC, when the letter arrived at his Kew Gardens’ office, so he missed the army of cops that converged on the location after the powder was discovered. “I’ve learned that when it comes to situations like this, there’s no such thing as one police officer responding,” he said this week during a roundtable interview with borough reporters. “They travel pretty heavy when it comes to white powder.”
Weiner, who admitted he “led with his chin” in the health care fight — drawing the ire of right-wingers in the process — said the day as “very traumatic” for his staff.
“The people who work for me are not political operachiks, they’re basically government workers who don’t get paid a great deal and don’t spend their time debating health care,” he said. “In my opinion, sending terrorizing letters to my community offices is not anything resembling free speech.”
A few days before the Anthrax scare, two anti-Semitic letters were sent to Weiner’s DC office. One was signed with swastika. The other referred to Weiner as “schlomo.”
For two days following the Anthrax scare, a police officer was posted outside the Sheepshead Bay Road as a precaution, officials said.