Targeted for His Beliefs, Diaz Says
Holy War Over Emails or Politics?
By David Greene
NEW YORK– A City Council ethics committee has found that Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. misused city resources when he sent out an email talking about his stance on gay marriage in the governor’s race.
In a closed session hearing, the committee found that Diaz had misused city resources but that it had not figured out a punishment.
Less than two weeks after newly-elected Bronx Democratic Councilman Diaz, publicly announced he was under investigation by the Standards and Ethics Committee, Diaz defended his column titled, “What You Should Know,” insisting that the regular e-mail he sends to constituents and is often published by local newspapers– is not political, but informational.
Joining Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark at a “Silent Peace March” through the streets of Soundview on July 25, Diaz, 75, seemed annoyed by the probe looking into his alleged “misuse of governmental resources.”
Diaz, who was sworn into the City Council in January, claimed he had written the article for the entire 16 years he was a member of the New York State Senate, explaining, “I always mailed it from the senate’s e-mail and now I’m in the City Council the last few months, so they assigned me an e-mail and I do it through the City Council e-mail.”
The column Diaz wrote and sent out on July 12, titled, “The Christians Should be Upset with Cuomo, Not the Gay Community,” led to at least one complaint that launched the inquiry.
In the column Diaz discusses Cynthia Nixon’s primary challenge of Governor Andrew Cuomo, and questions the LGBTQ communities support of her, despite gay marriage passing during Cuomo’s first year in office.
Diaz is a pastor and a long-time opponent of gay marriage.
“They don’t like what I do,” Diaz continued, “It’s a secret and nobody knows who started it, (the investigation) they say I’m using it. That’s o.k. Prove it to me and show me when I use it for political reasons.”
“I use it to inform the community,” Diaz continued, “of negotiations and everything that happens. That’s what I do and I will continue to do… I don’t want to stop, I want to continue to do it because I think that I am doing the right thing.”
Diaz added, “I know I have a lot of enemies in the City Council. People told me when I moved to the city, they told me about the people over there… because of my point of views, my philosophy, my beliefs. A lot of people are angry at me because of my positions.”
Diaz concluded, “But I won’t keep quiet and no, no, this won’t distract me from what the people elected me to do.”