“Don’t worry. It won’t get publicized.”

Facebook message from Richard Luthman, who has admitted to setting up Facebook pages intended to damage people seeking office, to Assemblyman and Staten Island Republican Ron Castorina, Jr.

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City Not Exactly Racing to Complete Politically Sensitive Yeshiva Probe
Politico New York “Two years after promising to look into the matter, Mayor Bill de Blasio provided no clear timeline Thursday for when his administration will conclude an investigation into whether yeshivas are breaking the law by eliminating secular studies in favor of religious instruction. “There’s just more work to do,” de Blasio told reporters on Thursday during a press conference in the Bronx to mark the first day of school.”

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Immigration Issues Loom Large in Sunset Park Council Race
WNYC “District 38 includes Red Hook and Sunset Park. Incumbent Carlos Menchaca prides himself for having spurred jobs along the waterfront and for fighting luxury residential development. But he’s in a tight race with two other high-profile candidates: State Assembly member Felix Ortiz and Sara Gonzalez, who formerly held the City Council seat for that district.”

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How Bad Will the Council’s Gender Balance be in 2018?
Gotham Gazette “Most would agree that gender balance in the City Council improves the legislative, oversight, and constituent services provided to the public. The dynamics of this year’s elections are not promising for improving the Council gender balance: five of the Council’s 13 women are not running for reelection, four of them due to term limits. Notably, all five are women of color: Rosie Mendez, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Annabel Palma, and Darlene Mealy are all term-limited and Julissa Ferreras-Copeland has decided not to seek reelection.”

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Cops Withhold Body Camera Footage, Citing a Concern That Will Be Present in Every Case
The New York Post “The NYPD wants to hold off on releasing the body cam footage from this week’s fatal, police-involved shooting in the Bronx — with sources claiming it could taint the investigation. Police Commissioner James O’Neill met with high-ranking officials to discuss the matter, but ultimately refused to release the tape Thursday on account of it being too much of a risk to the case, according to the sources. Authorities are worried that the footage could sway witnesses or a potential jury pool, should one of the officers involved in the shooting be accused of any wrongdoing, sources said.”

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Facebook Troll Linked to Two Staten Island Pols
The New York Times “Two politicians from the borough denied being involved in the phony Facebook page operation, but details of private communications between them and the operative, Richard A. Luthmann, appear to undercut those assertions. One of them, Kamillah Hanks, a candidate in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for City Council, said she hired Mr. Luthmann only to help her get on the ballot. Asked last week about a fake page that he set up to attack her opponent, Ms. Hanks referred the inquiry to a spokeswoman. ‘Ms. Hanks had no prior knowledge of these social media pages,’ the spokeswoman, Jennifer Blatus, said. … For his part, Mr. Luthmann said he regarded Ms. Hanks as his ‘conscience’ and said: ‘She is a far better woman than I am a man. These were almost motherly communications.’ The other political figure, Ron Castorina Jr., who serves in the Assembly and as chairman of the county Republican Party, said last week that he was merely attempting to ‘placate’ Mr. Luthmann.”