State Assemblyman focused college principal who sued him for defamation

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Two Bronx lawmakers derided an assistant principal at a Riverdale public college and pressured the de Blasio administration to do one thing concerning the educator, who had sued one of many pols for defamation, e-mails obtained by The Publish reveal.

The messages surfaced not too long ago throughout discovery within the go well with, which former PS 24 assistant principal Manny Verdi filed towards Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz (D-Bronx).

In a Feb. 29, 2016, message, Dinowitz and Bronx Councilman Andrew Cohen tried to get a sit down with one of many mayor’s high aides, simply to complain about Verdi.

“PS 24 . . . There’s an AP in place who they are saying has not executed job. They needed to clarify the scenario to Emma [Wolfe, then a top de Blasio aide],” John Paul Lupo, director of the mayor’s Workplace of Metropolis Legislative Affairs stated in an e-mail to different Metropolis Corridor staffers.

The identical day, Division of Schooling legislative staffer John Zaccaro Jr. wrote to then-DOE legislative director Justin Brannan. “The AP in query is Manny Verdi. Dinowitz and Cohen each really feel that he together with the previous principal are accountable for a part of the colleges overcrowding resulting from permitting out-of-zoned college students into the college,” he wrote.

This squeezing of a comparatively low-level staffer didn’t sit nicely with college brass, based on one other e-mail.

“This has grow to be very political and manipulative . . . The electeds shouldn’t be so concerned with this,” Deputy Chancellor Dorita Gibson wrote in an April 27, 2016, e-mail.

Verdi, who has since left the college, is suing Dinowitz in Manhattan Supreme Court docket for blaming him for the DOE’s failure to resume a lease in an annex constructing for PS 24.

Dinowitz referred questions concerning the e-mails to his lawyer, Charles Moerdler, who insisted that Dinowitz’s sole curiosity was getting a everlasting principal assigned to the college, not ousting Verdi.

Cohen defended his actions within the matter as a part of his job.

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