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Teen conservatives call on indicted pol to resign

Shame: Protesters from Brooklyn Teen Republicans called on Assemblywoman Pamela Harris to resign outside of her district office in Bay Ridge on March 11.
Brooklyn Daily
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They want her out!

Young Republicans rallied outside the Bay Ridge district office of Assemblywoman Pamela Harris (D–Coney Island) on March 11, demanding she resign after the Feds charged her in January with stealing thousands of dollars from the city and from federal storm-recovery agencies to pay for luxury vacations and lingerie.

The group gathered at the Third Avenue office between 85th and 86th streets to call on the beleaguered pol to close up shop in Albany, according to the founder and president of the Brooklyn Teen Republicans Club.

“She was indicted for charges that are simply horrendous — she stole government and taxpayer money,” said Batya Goldberg, a Midwood resident and student at Shulamith High School in Brighton Beach, referring to the yet-to-be-proven allegations. “Her constituents deserve much better than someone who refuses to resign.”

The club’s secretary added that the youngsters just wanted to see the pol take some responsibility for her alleged actions.

“There needs to be accountability — whether that means she steps down, or legislators begin hearings or an investigation separate from her criminal trial — as long as she is held accountable for her crimes,” said Rachel Carson High School student Samil Levin, of the allegations for which Harris has yet to stand trial.

The 11-count indictment against Harris alleges that the former corrections officer forged documents and a landlord’s signature to fake a story that she and her husband were forced out of their Neptune Avenue home after Hurricane Sandy, charging the faux rent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for years after the storm. It also alleges that Harris pocketed more than $30,000 the Council handed her in 2015 and 2016 to help her run her youth organization, Coney Island Generation Gap, diverting it to pay off her mortgage, take luxury vacations with her husband, and go on shopping sprees at Victoria’s Secret and Kohl’s. The Feds also allege that she hid money and investments when she and her husband filed for bankruptcy in 2013, and that she told witnesses to lie when the Federal Bureau of Investigation started investigating.

Harris pleaded “not guilty” in federal court on Jan. 9, and walked free after a friend paid her $150,000 bond. She could face several decades in jail if convicted on all charges, with 30 years just for the top charge of lying to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

But Goldberg said that, for now, the teens just wanted to see her resign her post — especially since the Daily News reported last month that Harris was absent from Albany for the month after her indictment, despite the fact that she was still collecting her paycheck.

“We need to get her intimidated enough to realize that she just has to resign,” Goldberg said.

Harris’s office did not return a request for comment by press time.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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