2014-08-22 / Front Page

Youth Leader Gets Plea Deal

By Jonathan Wolfe


Milan Taylor Milan Taylor Milan Taylor, president and founder of the Rockaway Youth Task Force, accepted a plea offer from the District Attorney’s office on Monday, Aug. 18, and pled guilty to charges of disorderly conduct.

On June 5, Taylor was arrested at the RYTF headquarters after an altercation with a woman in his office. The woman reported that Taylor attacked her, threw her on the couch, and choked her, according to the criminal complaint.

Taylor was originally charged with assault, criminal obstruction of breathing and second degree harassment, also according to the complaint.

He pled guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct and will undergo eight weeks of anger management. If Taylor completes the eight weeks of anger management, then his case will receive a conditional discharge, according to law enforcement sources.

The woman who filed the complaint against Taylor was granted a full order of protection for one year.

The Rockaway Youth Task Force is a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower youth in the Rockaway community “through civic engagement and volunteer activities,” according to the website. Taylor, who is also a member of Community Board 14, founded RYTF in 2011 and is an active member of the community.

Denean Ferguson is a member of the Far Rockaway/ Arverne Nonprofit Coalition, of which Taylor is a co-chair, and RYTF is a member agency.

Ferguson says that RYFT is, “a great idea and a great initiative,” and she calls their work “fantastic.” However, Ferguson adds that RYFT is an important organization, not because of its volunteer work, but rather as a vehicle for presenting young role models to the community.

Taylor, “is someone they look up to,” she says. "He should make an apology to his organization and make it clear that this behavior was unacceptable, and as their leader work to meet their expectations as a positive role model.”

Ferguson also says that she feels uncomfortable with the idea of having Taylor represent the Far Rockaway/Arverne Nonprofit Coalition.

New York State Senator James Sanders Jr., who nominated Taylor to his position on Community Board 14, reacted to Monday’s proceedings in an email.

“As an elected official, I have nothing but respect for our judicial process and their independence,” he wrote. “I remain committed to spreading awareness about the horrors of domestic violence in our community.”

Sanders indicated he would like to sit down with Taylor and hear his side of the story.

“Domestic violence continues to wreak havoc on our community,” Sanders continued. “I remain committed to women in affording them protection as well as stopping the cycle of abuse.”

Councilman Donovan Richards declined to comment for this story. Dolores Orr, Chairwoman of Community Board 14, did not return calls requesting comment.

On Tuesday, Taylor made it clear that he did not intend to step down from his position at Rockaway Youth Task Force and refused to provide further comment for this story.

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Mr. Wolfe erred in naming

Mr. Wolfe erred in naming Denean Ferguson Co-Chair of the Far Rockaway/Arverne Nonprofit Coalition. At this time, the Co-Chairs are Milan Taylor and Mary Ann Desilva.


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