Clifton Stanley Diaz, president of the Rochdale Civic Association and a member of the housing complex's board, tonight denounced a racially charged newsletter article written by another Rochdale official.
Speaking to the Chronicle at the Primary Day headquarters of Councilman James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton), who is running against state Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica), Diaz said he was "shocked" by the flier, which claims the corruption indictment brought against Huntley amounts to a "political lynching."
Huntley allegedly covered up the theft of $30,000 in taxpayer funding she allocated to a nonprofit group headed by her niece.
But Rochdale Second Vice President Joe Evans says in the latest village newsletter that a "lynch mob" headed by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman brought the charges against her in order to sway the primary vote, and he likened it to other investigations of black officials nationwide, including Rep. Charles Rangel of Manhattan and Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Chicago.
"It has caused turmoil," he said of the flier. "People are saying, 'Oh my God, he has brought negative attention to Rochdale Village that we don't need.'"
Huntley also has allocated tens of thousands of dollars to a Rochdale social service organization on whose board Evans sits. Other defenders of the embattled senator, such as the Rev. Charles Norris of the Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church, are also members of groups Huntley has provided with earmarks.
Sanders is running in part on a platform of cleaning up the government, saying that "character matters" in reference to the Huntley indictment and other ongoing investigations of her use of discretionary funding.
The mood at Sanders headquarters has been festive tonight, with Caribbean music playing and talk that the councilman is likely to win, but no results are available yet.