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State Sen. Marty Golden is demanding the outing of a shadowy unnamed figure in the Smith-Halloran scandal — who could very well be his old ally, Brooklyn Republican Party chairman Craig Eaton!
Golden (R–Bay Ridge) penned a letter to United States Attorney Preet Bharara asking him to release the name of the mysterious “County Chairman #1” mentioned in the bombshell legal complaint against state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D–Queens) and Councilman Dan Halloran (R–Staten Island) — who stand accused of attempting to bribe three GOP borough chairmen into letting Smith run for mayor as a Republican.
Golden said the identification and resignation of “County Chairman #1” was a necessary service to members of the Republican Party — despite the fact that the anonymous figure is not accused of accepting bribes and was not arrested in the April 2 bust that netted Smith and Halloran, though the complaint does indicate that he was in talks with the accused.
“This is about cleaning house,” said Golden. “Somebody should have been smart enough to stop those conversations, somebody should have been smart enough to call the U.S. Attorney’s office. We’re not going to put up with people who are going to sell our party or not act in a responsible way.”
But the man behind the curtain could be Golden’s fellow Bay Ridge resident, former Community Board 10 chairman, and current Kings County GOP chairman Craig Eaton — long aligned with Golden against a rival faction of Bensonhurst Republicans and the rebellious Brooklyn Young Republican Club.
The complaint states that on Nov. 16, 2012, Smith met with an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigations agent posing as a wealthy real estate developer and a “cooperating witness” — now known to be Assemblyman Nelson Castro (D–Bronx) — and discussed the possibility of getting “County Chairman #1” to back Smith for mayor instead of another candidate whom the chairman had already publicly endorsed.
Eaton said on Nov. 13, 2012 that he was supporting former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion — another Democrat — as the Republican candidate for the title of hizzoner. By contrast, Manhattan chairman Dan Isaacs and Queens chairman Phil Ragusa endorsed supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis in Jan. 2013, and former Staten Island chairman Robert Scamardella indicated that he would back Joe Lhota that same month, then resigned his post in February. Then-Bronx GOP head Joseph Savino was arrested for his involvement in the scandal and is mentioned by name in the complaint.
Golden said he personally had no suspects for “County Chairman #1,” and seemed surprised when confronted with the strong possibility that the man in question was Eaton, acknowledging their history as allies.
“I would hope that’s not it. I don’t know who was endorsing whom at what point,” said Golden. “We do know each other fairly well. And I don’t know who it’s going to be.”
But a Brooklyn GOP source said that the enigmatic figure has to be either Eaton or Isaacs.
“They’re the only ones who fit the profile,” the insider said.
Eaton did not respond to repeated calls for comment.Reach reporter Will Bredderman at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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