It’s a shameless money grab

for The Brooklyn Paper
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You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t celebrate the “retirement” of our scandal-scarred Democratic Party Boss, Assemblyman Vito Lopez. I thought about getting him a gold watch, but, unfortunately, Lopez’s short-lived retirement as an Assemblyman from Bushwick will last only one day.

By deciding to resign from his post on the last day of 2010, just hours before being sworn into a new two-year term, Lopez will pad his $92,000 salary with an $88,000 pension. You read that right: Boss Vito will receive a pension while continuing to work the very same job that he’s had for 26 years.

The editorial board of The Brooklyn Paper and now Mayor Bloomberg have rightly criticized the Assemblyman for perpetrating “the ultimate Albany scam.” The “double-dipping” scandal is yet another reminder that Boss Vito has no reservation about stealing our tax dollars. Let’s review the evidence:

• Lopez’s pet nonprofit organization, Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizen’s Council, is under investigation for fraud by municipal and federal authorities. The bloated taxpayer-funded salaries of the two most senior staff members at RBSCC totaled approximately $1 million in 2010.

• The executive director and Lopez’s campaign treasurer, Christiana Fisher, received more than $650,000 in annual compensation for just 17.5 hours of work per week. If Fisher were working full-time, she would be earning $1.5 million annually, an obscene salary for an executive at a neighborhood nonprofit organization.

• Vito’s longtime girlfriend, Angela Battaglia, who serves as the housing director at RBSCC, made nearly $350,000 and earned an additional $54,000 as a city Planning Commissioner. Therefore, Lopez and Battaglia’s taxpayer-funded combined household earnings will approach an astounding $600,000 in 2011, more than 16 times the median household income of Lopez’s Bushwick constituents. Throw in the $400 sushi habit and Brooklyn has its very own Pedro Espada!

In a state increasingly defined by public corruption, Brooklyn should be the exception rather than the worst example. As a newly elected district leader, I am working with my colleagues to build a coalition committed to transparency, accountability, and bring honest leadership to our local politics.

Brooklyn deserves no less.

Lincoln Restler is a district leader in the 50th Assembly District representing Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.

Updated 5:22 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Av from Williamsburg says:
Now Lopez will take two paychecks from MY wallet! This is total crime!
Dec. 23, 2010, 2:25 am
Mark says:
Is there any loophole we can use to make Vito's one day retirement a permanent thing?
Dec. 23, 2010, 2:50 am
Leona from Fort Greene says:
Tell it Lincoln! Proud to be your neighbor!
Dec. 23, 2010, 3:44 am
Senator al Frank from Canarsie says:

First and foremost, stop trying to be like me. I am funny. I am a US Senator. I am smart. I am accomplished. You need a real life young man. No one cares about District Leaders! Secondly, why are you so obsessed with Vito Lopez? You've disclosed that Mr. Lopez has a girlfriend, therefore why don't you let her do the umm... exactly.

You are such a politician. You'd take any chance to make the newspapers and try to make a name for your self. Talk about shameless media-hungry little kids.

Get a real life and a real job for once and help people in your community instead of talking about elected officials from other communities. And lastly, how independent are you if you do anything Nydia "CONGRESSWOMAN" Velazquez and Diana "I LIVE IN A RIDGEWOOD-BUSHWICK HOME" Reyna tell you to do? That's the Soviet Union-USSR definition of independence.
Dec. 23, 2010, 9:49 am
Bob the builder from East New York says:
It seems to me that Lincoln is upset that Vito Lopez has a real job and he is suffering with no job at all. Word is he got fired from the Mayor's Office of "Helping Poor People" (as he articulated at a fundraiser once; so shameless and low).
Dec. 23, 2010, 9:50 am
CUNY-DSI from Manhattan says:
I know lincoln restler from his days at the Dominican Studies Department at CUNY, and the dude is seriously a DOUCHE BAG!!! He has his whole life planned out. That's why he was an African-American and Latino Studies major at Brown and he learned spanish and went to CUNY's Dominican program and connected with Diana Reyna.

Don't you guys see this guy is an opportunist? He would jump on the Fire Barack Obama campaign if it was the politically expedient thing to do. He'd jump on the kill all poor people bandwagon if it satisfied his Yuppie, downtown brooklyn, my daddy's a hedge fund millionaire, friends and neighbors.

I do not have respect for this guy whatsoever HE IS A PHONY and I think that he should give up his career in politics ASAP!
Dec. 23, 2010, 9:54 am
Steve-Levin-Stalker from Williamsburg says:
Lincoln Restler, or should I say Steve Levin's #1 fan. Dude you go to all of Steve Levin's community meetings and try stealing the show. You are one funny looking dude.
Dec. 23, 2010, 9:58 am
Mr. & Mrs. Sensationalism from Coney Island says:
Oh that's right "CUNY-DSI" isn't Lincoln Restler's dad like a multi-millionaire? So he doesn't mind taking time off of work b/c while some people have to actually work and get real careers, Lincoln Restler can become a district leader and fantasize about vito lopez all day long. I wish i could be just like him one day!!! GO STEVE-LEVIN-STALKER aka LINCOLN!!
Dec. 23, 2010, 9:59 am
Gene says:
Hey Lincoln, if Vito Lopez loyalists are attacking you with lies on the internet, you must be doing something right. Keep it up.
Dec. 23, 2010, 10 am
Gene says:
I amend my former statement. Looking at the timestamps of the comments from so many "different commenters" it looks like you've upset just one Lopez loyalist, but a very passionate one.
Dec. 23, 2010, 10:02 am
Alert says:
Andy Marte (aka Senator al Frank from Canarsie, aka Bob the builder from East New York, aka CUNY-DSI from Manhattan, aka Steve-Levin-Stalker from Williamsburg, aka Mr. & Mrs. Sensationalism from Coney Island) has officially taken a break from servicing Vito Lopez long enough to write nasty comments on the internet.

Andy earns extra points today for passion and using spell check, but there will be a serious deduction for not differentiating the various voices of the cast of characters.
Dec. 23, 2010, 10:08 am
Senator Al frank from Canarsie says:
I can assure you I did not write the rest of those comments and I'm not sure who wrote them. But it seems to me everyone has a Vito Lopez Google Alert in Brooklyn. So I am sure people write these things pretty quickly. And no I am not Andy Marte.
Dec. 23, 2010, 10:17 am
Alert says:
Ok Andy, I mean "Senator Al."
Dec. 23, 2010, 10:26 am
Kevin Peter Caroll from Just moved to Bay Ridge says:
Does this mean Vito can't get me that job he promised me?
Dec. 23, 2010, 10:37 am
Senator Al frank from Canarsie says:
You see how quickly you responded to that ALERT, I mean lincoln.
Dec. 23, 2010, 10:37 am
Rolf Carle from Greenpoint says:
Lincoln must be doing something right to get so many angry comments. Go Lincoln!
Dec. 23, 2010, 11:18 am
SteveFtGreene from Fort Greene says:
One might think that the Vito defenders here could point to some of his accomplishments. They haven't and that says a lot.
Dec. 23, 2010, 12:07 pm

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