Guilty Parties: Council Aides to Cop Pleas
Asquith Reid, Stewart's former chief of staff, and Joycinth Anderson, another ex-council staffer, will plead guilty before Judge Victor Marrero in Manhattan federal court, according to a letter filed with the court last week by prosecutors. The pleas were reported yesterday by British Caribbean News.
In an April, 2008 indictment resulting from a joint city and federal probe, Reid and Anderson were charged with conspiring to swipe $145,000 in city funds earmarked for a charity honoring Reid's late daughter. Reid allegedly routed $31,000 to family members in Jamaica, while another $18,000 went to Stewart's political club. The council member said he knew nothing of the scams and was not charged.
A challenger to Stewart in this year's council elections, Jumaane Williams, is calling on Stewart to resign. "Our councilmember should deliver for our community, not take from our community. Kendall Stewart cannot claim ignorance," said Williams in a press release. "He must resign."
Apparently it's good weather for guilty pleas. Veteran Queens assemblyman Anthony Seminerio will cop his own plea to a somewhat larger scheme this afternoon in the same Manhattan federal court. Seminerio set up his own secret consulting firm, pocketing some $1 million in fees from clients.