Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. is not happy that he and controversial Council aide David Segal will be working in the same building again. Mr. Segal is back in the office of Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez after he was initially fired when the news broke that he served time in federal prison for attempting to torch an Army recruitment center in the Bronx in 2005.
“I didn’t think it was possible for this episode to get more embarassing, but it just did,” Mr. Vallone told The Politicker.
Mr. Segal was contrite when the news of his old arrest first resurfaced.
“I had and continue to have a firm belief that the war in Iraq is unjust. I have a strong set of values based on social justice,” he said. “I apologize to anyone I might have disappointed and to those who might not agree with my past.”
However, that answer hasn’t satisfied Mr. Vallone, because Mr. Segal did not specifically say he was sorry for his actions or whether he was willing to renounce violence.
“I understand redemption and forgiveness, but he hasn’t even started the process,” he said. “He needs to beg forgiveness of our soldiers and police force, none of which he’s done yet, and then the Council could consider rehiring him.”
Some legal experts have suggested Mr. Segal’s firing may have been a violation of job discrimination laws because he initially he had committed a felony when he got the job as Mr. Rodriguez’s spokesman last year. Mr. Vallone doesn’t believe that’s the case because Mr. Segal reportedly called the officers who arrested him “pigs” in an online rant posted after the incident.
“You don’t have to hire someone if the conviction has a direct connection to their job,” Mr. Vallone said. “In case people don’t notice, we have direct oversight on the NYPD and he called the officers ‘pigs’ when he was arrested. So, that’s a direct enough connection for me.”
Mr. Rodriguez has not responded to multiple requests for comment on this story.