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Oct 07, 2020
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Bronx Politicians Vote to Expel Colleague From City Council

This week, Bronx politicians faced the uncomfortable position of having to pass judgment on their colleague as the city council voted 48-2 to expel councilmember Andy King. King's ouster marks the first time that a councilmember was expelled without a criminal conviction since the council's founding in 1653. Vanessa Gibson, Andrew Cohen, and Mark Gjonaj voted with the majority to expel Andy King. Bronx councilmember Ruben Diaz Sr. cast the one dissenting vote beside Mr. King's. The final vote was 48-2. Expelling the councilmember is an extraordinary step because it nullifies the will of the Bronx voters who elected Mr. King from the 12th district including Baychester, Co-op City, Edenwald, Eastchester, Wakefield, and Williamsbridge. However, Bronx councilmember Vanessa Gibson is convinced that expulsion is warranted, because she served on the Standards and Ethics Committee which heard the evidence against Mr. King. In a hastily filed lawsuit, Mr. King and his lawyer Joey Jackson allege discrimination based on political vendettas or racial animus. Mr. King is one of the most visible politicians in the Bronx. But throughout his service, he has been the subject of multiple investigations which resulted in charges of sexual harassment, misuse of funds, and subsequently, of abusing victims who spoke up. The council decided on expulsion after the most recent investigation revealed evidence that King engaged in a kickback scheme and forced a female staffer out of her job, ridiculing her for having a menstrual bleeding problem. Many councilmembers saw this incident as an opportunity to look at the system as a whole. Is the city doing enough to prevent elected officials from engaging in abuse and sexual harassment in their offices? Now that Andy King's seat is vacant, a special election for the 12th district is to be held on the first Tuesday of December. For Bronxnet, I'm Steven De Castro. For more information on BronxNet visit us at- https://bronxnet.org/ Follow us on Facebook at- https://www.facebook.com/BronxNetTV Follow us on Twitter at- https://twitter.com/BronxnetTV Follow us on Instagram at- https://www.instagram.com/bronxnettv Follow us on LinkedIn at- https://www.linkedin.com/company/bronxnet-community-television

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