May 30, 2023
914 Politics

Chairwomen Catherine Borgia Responds To BOL Asking For Her Resignation: I WILL NOT RESIGN!

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Black Westchester has extensively covered the child sex predator scandal of Westchester County Board Of Legislators (BOL) staffer Anand Singh, asking how long the BOL knew and the fact that DA Mimi Rocah is investigating the matter. Several of the members of the BOL individually have shared with Black Westchester they feel Chairwoman Catherine Borgia should resign and Monday, April 24th they released a joint statement.’

“We, members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, are asking Chairwoman Catherine Borgia to resign from her position as Chair. While she has been a leader that has guided us through historic and life-changing pieces of legislation, we have lost confidence in her ability to lead this body and the staff that supports it. Government’s job is to protect people and ensure those ideals are clear in our words and actions.”

The whole board signed the statement calling for Borgia to step down from her role as chair. She would remain on the board until her term is over. If Borgia does step down or resign as chair, Vice Chair Nancy E. Barr will assume the duties of the Chair until the end of 2023.

All the legislators we spoke to told us they did not know about Singh’s child sex predatory behavior and until after the video was made public in April and Chairwoman Borgia terminated the staffer. The only legislators that we can find of who knew about OBL livestream video of the sting that caught Singh soliciting sex from who he thought was a 14-year-old girl in New Jersey in December 2002 were Legislator Colin Smith and Board Chair Catherine Borgia as well as the BOL Clerk, even though they have been allegations that some of the legislators knew months prior.

Colin Smith (District 1) was allegedly informed of the video on December 28th and states he immediately brought it to the attention of leadership.

A few legislators released statements of their own when the facts came in, calling for Borgia to resign days before the joint statement came out on Monday.

Damon Maher (District 10) shared with Black Westchester, Wednesday, April 19th;

Additional facts coming out this morning bolster my belief that Legislator Borgia should resign or be removed as Chair of the BOL. Watch for a statement from the Democrat caucus later this afternoon.

James Nolon (District 15) also shared a statement on Facebook on Thursday, April 20th;

After more and more details have come out about Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairwoman Borgia’s for the handling of the situation of sexual misconduct allegations against a former Board employee; I am calling on the resignation of Chairwoman Catherine Borgia because of the mishandling of the situation.

The multiple reports surfacing concerning sexual misconduct surrounding a former legislative staffer are horrific and could potentially demonstrate that some elected legislators put protecting their own employees above protecting the public.

This legislative assistant drove over three hours seeking one thing, a sexual encounter with a young 14-year-old child. That is nothing short of appalling and most importantly, predatory.

We reached out to Borgia after we received the joint statement from the BOL, she adamantly stated to Black Westchester, she has no intentions of resigning.

“During my time on the Westchester County Board of Legislators, and more recently as Chair, we have indeed passed historic and life changing pieces of legislation.  Make no mistake about it – my record is unprecedented.  Unfortunately my colleagues have been distracted by politics and personal advancement and believe a political witch hunt against me will advance those goals. Additionally, during my time on the Board, I have faced numerous challenges, but none more troubling than the pervasive issue of misogyny that I see today. “The staffer who was fired displayed conduct that was deeply disturbing- that is clear.  However, what is happening now- directed at me-  is an unprecedented over-reaction that will destroy this institution. This is not just about one incident or one individual – it is about a culture of disrespect and disregard for women’s contributions and voices. I have not violated any law.  I have not violated the County Charter.  I have not violated the rules of the board or the ethics laws. I will not resign.”

She also released a video statement, Tuesday, April 18th. Later that day, Chief Assistant District Attorney Amy Finzi sent a letter to BOL Chairwoman Catherine Borgia, citing their knowledge of suspected criminal activity by terminated BOL staffer, Anand Singh. The letter states the DA’s office was made aware of these allegations on April 14th, after the OBL Global Youtube video was posted.

Black Westchester obtained a copy of the letter to the BOL from the DA that requests “all data, materials, notes, information and communications” on this matter. Specifically, it also requires any notices given to elected board members related to this incident. To date, the only legislators proven to be aware of this allegation pre-April are Smith and Borgia.

The massive amounts of data requested about Singh’s investigation is supplemented by data generated by Singh himself. DA Rocah also requests all electronic device data–including location information–in use by Singh during his time at the BOL.

Black Westchester has learned that the DA’s office and the County Attorney (representing the BOL) agreed to a two-week deadline for the BOL to turn over requested documents.

Stay Tuned to Black Westchester for more on this developing story.

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