2012-09-14 / Top Stories

Charges Are ‘Political Lynching’

Senator Huntley Backers:

Huntley was arraigned on several charges last month. Huntley was arraigned on several charges last month. The race for the State Senate in the eastern portion of the peninsula turned ugly last week when a supporter of recently-arrested Senator Shirley Huntley charged in “call to action” flyers that the charges that led to the arrest are a “political lynching” on the part of State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.”

Huntley was charged in state court in Nassau County with falsifying documents and tampering with evidence, as well as conspiracy in connection with a non-profit she funded that was run by relatives and cronies and allegedly did not perform the chores that it was funded for. The language in the flyers, which could be found in thousands of the flyers spread around the mainland portion of Huntley’s district, appeared to many to say that Schneiderman had both political and racial reasons for charging Huntley with the crime.

“We as black folks should immediately be able to identify this method of political lynching,” wrote Rochdale Village Vice President Joe Evans, referring to felony charges brought against Huntley by Schneiderman last month. “The community knows this is a political hanging.”

Huntley, like many of the 25,000 residents of Rochdale Village, where many of the flyers appeard, is black. Schneiderman is white.

Her Democratic primary opponent, Councilman James Sanders Jr., is also black.

According to the New York Post, Huntley’s campaign refused to disavow the flyers, which were slid under apartment doors.

“The campaign will not comment on someone’s opinion,” Huntley spokesman Michael Roberts told Post reporters. “What we can tell you is Mr. Evans is his own man and has his own voice and he can say what he wants. It’s not for the campaign to say what the merits of his statements are.” A spokesman for Schneiderman responded, “The appropriate forum in which to respond to these baseless charges is a court of law.” According to the Post, Huntley has scored tens of thousands of dollars in “member item” grants for various Rochdale Village nonprofits.

One of them, the Rochdale Village Social Services Inc., where Evans is a board member, received $55,000 in Huntley grants since 2008 for youth and elderly programs.

Evans isn’t the only Huntley supporter whose organization received taxpayer grants she secured.

Bishop Charles Norris Sr., head of the Clergy United for Community Empowerment, which has received $75,000 in member items from Huntley, has also been vocally proclaiming her innocence. Meanwhile, records show that, despite her arraignment on serious charges, Huntley is still pumping money to some of those involved with the non-profit, including her husband, Herbert Huntley, who was paid more than $2,000 on August 10 and her niece, Pamela Corley, who was paid $600 on July 30. In addition, she continues to receive campaign contributions from individuals and unions.

While she has been called upon to drop out of the race against City Councilman Sanders and Gian Jones, she has refused to do so.

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