I told you a few weeks ago about the problem some Brooklyn campaign workers were having getting paid. They told us that the campaign of John Gangemi, who was running for the Democrat’s nomination for Brooklyn Borough President, owes them quite a bit of cash.
Gangemi is an attorney who used to be an assistant DA and an assistant attorney general. He was removed from the primary ballot because of invalid signature petitions.
Now, more people are coming forward saying they haven’t been paid what they’re owed. Among them, Robert Cooper who oversaw signature gathering for the petitions and Lance Woodward who says he was responsible for website construction, graphic design and campaign strategy
“I’ve received 26-hundred dollars out of a total of 85-hundred that was owed,” Lance told me. “It’s been a song and a dance. They say it’s gonna be tomorrow and the next day. And it just keeps going on and on at some point you have to draw a line in the sand.”
Lance says the campaign gave him the run around. We had a similar experience trying to talk to the guys running the show. Four separate times we scheduled an interview. All four times the campaign canceled, citing the effort to undo the Board of Elections ruling. So finally, we decided to go over to headquarters anyway. Lance came with us.
We saw Domenick Crispino and Frank Gangemi there. Domenick, the assistant campaign manager, didn’t want to talk with us. Frank, the candidate’s son, did.
I asked Frank why Lance feels it’s necessary to go public with his complaint. Frank’s response, “This is what he does. When he got fired from his job at the Brooklyn yards he became a whistle-blower and nobody talks to him.”
Lance says he had a legal duty to come forward in that situation.
But since Frank took a shot at Lance, it’s only fair to bring up his background. Frank and Domenick say they met behind bars. Both are disbarred attorneys who did some serious time for misusing clients’ money. They’ve parlayed the records into a satellite radio show.
Frank claims most political campaigns are short of money, but wouldn’t be specific about his father’s.
“Campaigns are always fiscally behind the eight ball,” he said.
Why this campaign?
“I think my father came in late.”
Howard: “How much money did he have in his war chest?”
Frank: “I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Frank said anyone owed money will be paid, but denied the debt to Lance. “He’s not owed that money, he’s not owed that money, based upon whatever you want to call it, results oriented, whether you want to call it an agreement. Either way you look at it you’re (Lance) not owed that money.”
So, the unhappy former workers are still unhappy. But there story is out. And it appears the Gangemi campaign is out too. State courts have ruled the campaign waited too long before filing the legal challenge to the Board of Elections ruling giving John Gangemi the boot from the ballot.
Frank and Domenick say they’re trying federal court, but that appears to be a real long shot.