La Pelusa’s comments are flat-out wrong

To the Editor:
In response to Mr. La Pelusa’s comments in the last week’s BCN article written by Al Sullivan, I wanted to take the time to publicly address his allegation that he felt “used” by me.
When I was first made aware that Mr. La Pelusa was taping me, I felt hurt and betrayed. At the same time, I felt sorry for Mr. La Pelusa. He had told several people that the AG’s office had showed pictures of him and his wife at various work and non-work related places, and they had threatened him with arrest. I have affidavits from several mutual friends that this is, in fact, what he said. I believe he was pressured to the point where it affected his testimony to the state grand jury. He is now the “star witness” against me and my wife.
I gave Mr. La Pelusa his start in politics. What offended me the most is when I read that Mr. La Pelusa felt “used.” The fact is I gave Gary his start in politics by allowing him to run as committeeman in his neighborhood. Did he feel used when I campaigned for him to help him win that seat as well to help arrange transportation for voters to offset a heavy Doria camp challenge? Did Gary feel used when he asked me to allow him to be an aide on my legislative staff in 2005 and I did so? Did Gary feel used when I also gave his wife a part time job in the legislative office? In 2006, did Gary feel “used” when I convinced him it was better to not run on Militello’s ticket for mayor and to run as an independent instead? Did he feel “used” when I campaigned for him in that election?
I was running as an independent for the at-large seat at the time. I won without a run off for the second time and did not need him to win my election. Nevertheless, in the Third Ward I asked all of my supporters who were voting for me to vote for Gary and to place his signs alongside my signs as well. Did Gary feel “used” when in that same election, my wife designed his campaign signs and that together we made our own signs from my campaign office?
In 2008 when I won my Assembly seat back, Gary begged to be put on as aide again. However, as he was now a councilman, I told him that this would be a conflict of interest. Nevertheless as he had the landscape contract for the landlord of my Assembly office, I allowed him to keep that contract through the state. I could have used him. I could have used someone else. But I wanted to help him as a friend. Did he feel “used” then?
Incredibly, after supporting Gary politically, after defending him at council meetings during times he was attacked, and after being “friends” in which we shared many family events and social settings, Gary stooped to the bottom of the barrel and taped a conversation meant to “set me up.” This attempt failed, as the tape was never played for the grand jury. Why? Because the fact is, the recorded phone conversation tells a different story that I did nothing wrong. Of course, that is why it was not played for the grand jury.
Gary never told the grand jury that some of the checks went to legitimate Assembly office expenses. I believe that he did, however, testify to those facts and others in other interviews with the AG’s office. Testimony, again, that the grand jury never heard.
This event has been an unbelievable ordeal for me and my family. However, I am still standing. I’m still fighting. I am looking forward to the day when this soon will be resolved. I believe people should know the facts in this case and as such, I have talked with my attorney about providing to the public all of the evidence presented against me, especially Mr. La Pelusa’s testimony.
Mr. La Pelusa, since you feel so “used,” would you object if people knew the truth about what you testified?


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