Published in
The Empire

Corruption cases

Attorney general candidate Eric Schneiderman's campaign scores a coup today. The Village Voice reports that his Republican rival, a sitting district attorney, has not tried a public corruption case since taking office on Staten Island.

Tom Robbins writes:

[A]sk Donovan's team about his experience at tackling wayward politicians or their cronies since he became D.A. in 2004 and there's a pause. 'You have to understand, we operate on a much smaller playing field," said Bill Smith, spokesman for the District Attorney. "We have three and a half Assembly members, three Council members, one and a half state senators, and one congressman. So if you're asking in terms of specific elected officials, we haven't had any of these.'

Schneiderman, for his part, led a committee in the state senate which eventually led to the expulsion of a fellow Democrat, Hiram Monserrate.

The article goes on to detail a number of possible leads for corruption probes, which the Schneiderman team want to know more about.

Donovan's campaign notes "All of the allegations in the article in question actually occurred under the watch of Dan's predecessor as district attorney, who ironically was of the same political party as State Senator Schneiderman."

Here are the questions Schneiderman's camp released in a public statement:

1) Will Donovan return $5,000 from "Cubby" Calcagno, a co-conspirator in a mob case?

2) What did Donovan know about his Staten Island Borough President Office colleague's scheme to help the Genovese crime family shake down vendors at Little Italy's San Gennaro street fair?

3) Did Donovan ever consider alerting authorities to Leonard Cerami's job as an all-around political go-fer for Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari?

4) What did Donovan know about city employee Daniel Carrique's December 2000 stint in Florida on city time organizing political protests against the presidential recount for George W. Bush?

5) Did Donovan ever raise an objection to the wasted $126 million that was paid to his mentor Guy Molinari's developer pal to build housing for the Navy near the planned Homeport, that was ultimately never built?

6) Did Donovan ever feel at all uneasy about Molinari making a $100,000 profit by selling his own parcel to the builder, Robert Mazzuoccola, whose partners in other projects included a pair of Colombo crime family captains?

7) "How will Donovan take on public-corruption when by his own spokesman's admission, "we haven't had any of these" cases during Donovan's tenure as Staten Island District Attorney?