Naomi Rivera, a 49-year-old Democratic assemblywoman from the Bronx, likes to give her boy-toys more than just pleasure; she gets them good-paying jobs for which they are unqualified, too. Now the FBI, the state attorney general, the Bronx DA and special schools prober Richard Condon are getting involved.
Rivera hired her boyfriend at the time, Vincent Pinela, 40, to be the $75,000-a-year head of her Bronx Council for Economic Development. She also used charity funds for snuggle time with him. When that affair went south, Rivera hired her next lover, Brooklyn teacher Tommy Torres, 35, to work at her Morris Park district office. Working 20 hours a week, he made almost $20,000 from that job.
Rivera doesn’t just bestow favors on her gigolos; her younger brother Rodney collected a $65,000 state taxpayer salary for nearly three years. For what, you might ask?
Gathering news clips. Although he was listed as a “communications specialist and clips digest supervisor” for the state Senate’s Democratic Conference from Sept. 24, 2007 through April 29, 2010, when he was fired, his coworkers said he simply cut out newspaper clips for Democrats to use; and he didn’t even do that well.
One former colleague attested that Rodney’s job took barely an hour each day. “He didn’t do much, and what he did do wasn’t done particularly well. Further than that, we never saw him given, or take on, any work responsibilities or portfolio.”
Apparently the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree; Rivera’s father, Assemblyman and former Bronx Democratic leader José Rivera, pressured Senate Democratic leaders numerous times to raise his son’s salary and keep him from being fired. He shouldn’t have worried; Rodney failed upward. He now works at a $74,000-a-year job as special assistant for the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Rodney is rather ungrateful for all the largesse that has come his way. Last August he tweeted: “Day 2 back @ that 9-5 thing . . . Shout out to those fools out here like me . . . Suckers . . . A bigger shout out to those doing their own thing.”
It pays to know the Rivera family, especially in the Biblical sense.