Under Investigation, ACORN Chief Bertha Lewis Quits Working Families Party

Die-hard supporters of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — better known as the infamous ACORN — are not going to like these developments. From City Hall, EdwardIsaac Dovere reports that the embattled Lewis has quietly stepped aside as head of the Working Families Party in New York State, which is currently under investigation by the feds:

Bertha Lewis Departs From WFP, Perjury Charges Possible In Staten Island Case

With national scrutiny on ACORN and local scrutiny on the Working Families Party, ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis quietly departed as state co-chair of the Working Families Party.

Lewis was a founding co-chair of the Party. According to Working Families spokesman Dan Levitan, Lewis stopped serving as co-chair “about a year ago,” though many people familiar with the Party were unaware of that change and Lewis was identified as a current co-chair in an interview on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Showas recently as September.

The change in leadership comes as the Working Families Party and many of its endorsed candidates are providing extensive email and other documentation in response to December subpoenas from the United States Attorney’s office in New York. Lawyers are also preparing to return to Staten Island Supreme Court on Feb. 23 for the lawsuit being brought against the WFP’s company, Data & Field Services, and the campaign of now-Council Member Debi Rose by Randy Mastro on behalf of five Republican-connected residents of her Staten Island district.

The lawsuit, however, may not be the only legal action on the horizon. The trial was stopped short in January by Judge Anthony Giacobbe after Rose’s treasurer, David Thomas testified that he had neither written nor was familiar with the information provided in affidavits to the Campaign Finance Board. That may result in attention from Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan–“there’s a very strong possibility of a perjury case here,” according to local legal sources.

Lest we forget, the New York Times reported in December:

Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed documents from the New York City-based Working Families Party, which has been criticized in recent months over its campaign financing activities.

People close to the party who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk on the matter said that they did not know the scope of the subpoena, but said they were taking the investigation very seriously.

More background here.

And, of course, here, where the whole thing started.


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