Golden Asks Feds To Release Whistleblower’s Name In Corruption Case, Spurring Rebuke From Party Members


State Senator Marty Golden has requested the name of the confidential informant that led to the indictment of State Senator Malcolm Smith and Councilman Daniel Halloran. Golden has sent a letter to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara requesting that he make public the name of the Republican County Chairman that blew the whistle on Smith and Halloran’s scheme to get Smith, a Democrat, to seize the GOP line for mayor.

In the case against Smith and Halloran, the main FBI informant is simply referred to as “County Chairman #1.” This informant wasn’t indicted of any wrongdoing. Golden wrote a letter to Bharara asking that this mysterious chairman be revealed so that the Republican party can decide for themselves what to do with a leader who was uncomfortably close to an intensely corrupt situation.

“Descriptions within the sealed complaint raise serious questions concerning the integrity of said County Chairman.  Although this individual has not been indicted, I believe the 300,000 plus members and hundreds of activists within the City’s Republican Party require the publication of such information to allow them to determine if said individual should remain a leader within the Republican Party,” Golden wrote.
“Beyond the Republican Party, the public’s trust in the political system is already greatly shaken and would benefit from the release of this information and by said individual’s resignation,” Golden wrote.

Clearly, the news of the corruption scandal left New York Republican leaders scrambling to clean their ranks out of anyone who might contribute to more negative publicity as the 2014 local and state elections heat up. Right?

Maybe not.

It’s important to note that there is a long history of infighting in the Brooklyn Republican Party, with several splinter groups waging civil war with each other.

Golden’s actions were apparently seen as an attack on Brooklyn GOP boss Craig Eaton, and an attempt to oust him from power. State Committeewoman Gladys Pemberton wrote a letter to fellow party members, which included the following:

Sen. Golden is using this [mayoral] race in an attempt to oust Craig as the Chairman.What a total disgrace. To learn this is being orchestrated by Senator Martin Golden is beyond the pale! I call upon all of our State Committee members to join with me in denouncing what Senator Golden is attempting to do. It is once again a case of another Senator on a power trip. He now wants to control Kings County completely.

The root of this is Golden’s endorsement of Joe Lhota for the Republican nod, as opposed to Eaton’s pick, John Catsimatidis, which was seen as another attempt to undermine Eaton.

Also in response to Golden’s letter, three county chairs including Eaton – Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan – wrote a joint letter admonishing Golden, the Daily Politics reports. From the letter:

It is outrageous that you [Golden] would insert yourself into the midst of an ongoing Federal investigation. As a former member of the New York City Police Department you should know better; you should allow law enforcement to do their job.
Considering that you released your letter to the media the same day that you called a meeting of District Leaders of the Brooklyn GOP, one can only assume that this is a cynical attempt on your behalf to stage a coup in advancement of your personal political agenda.
Perhaps you should be more judicious in your political mudslinging. We can’t imagine that you would be thrilled if a county chairman called for your resignation the next time one of your fellow legislators is charged with a nefarious deed.
The voters of the Republican Party want elected officials who will build our party, not those who break it down through illegal deeds, ill-chosen words or Machiavellian action.

So far, Bharara has not commented on Golden’s request.