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Vito led ‘Occupy Wall Street’ solidarity march — even though he’s a 1 percenter! • Brooklyn Paper

Vito led ‘Occupy Wall Street’ solidarity march — even though he’s a 1 percenter!

Pointed barbs: Assemblyman Vito Lopez repeatedly interrupted a community meeting this week to blast the media and his “enemies.”
Community Newspaper Group / Aaron Short

The firebrand Brooklyn Assemblyman who led last week’s solidarity march to Occupy Wall Street is actually not one of the “99 percent.”

Assemblyman Vito Lopez protested income inequality at the rally — but he and his girlfriend have a combined income of $493,000, putting their household in the top one percent nationwide.

The 69-year-old pol makes $92,000 as an assemblymember — a part-time job — but also collects his $64,634 pension, thanks to a state loophole.

That adds up to $156,630, putting his individual income among the top five percent of wage earners, according to 2009 IRS data.

Meanwhile, Lopez’s longtime, live-in girlfriend, Angela Battaglia, collected about $337,090 last year — $282,940 as the housing director of the Lopez-founded Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, and a $54,150 stipend as a city planning commissioner.

The quite-grand grand total — $493,000 — easily puts the power couple in the top one percent of earners, which the Congressional Budget Office, using IRS statistics, says is any househousehold earning more than $350,000.

Lopez and Battaglia’s wages don’t include assets that the couple has accumulated, including a Queens condo that Battaglia bought in 1992, and a quaint Suffolk County summer house that Battaglia and Lopez purchased in 1997 for $173,000, which a town assessor estimates could be worth half a million dollars.

Still, Lopez proclaimed his solidarity this week with the Occupy Wall Street protesters, who have camped out in Lower Manhattan for more than a month, by calling for a higher state income tax.

“We trying to push for an agenda to make those making the billions of dollars to give back to the city they’re making it from,” Lopez told Good Day New York on Tuesday.

Reach reporter Aaron Short at ashort@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2547.

Community Newspaper Group / Aaron Short

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