Solages arrest creates election-year hurdle for Dems: politicos

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Nassau County Legislator Carrie Solages (D-Valley Stream) speaks at a rally against a planned video casino in March 2016. (Photo by Noah Manskar)

About half a dozen public corruption scandals involving Republican Nassau County officials in the past two years created a political opportunity for Democrats, who are campaigning on an anti-corruption message.

But the arrest last Wednesday of Democratic county Legislator Carrie Solages on domestic violence charges gives the party a harder row to hoe as it tries to retake control of the county government, local politicos said.

“This kind of levels the playing field, so to some degree it takes the moral high ground away from the Democrats,” said Michael Dawidziak, a Sayville political strategist who works mostly with Republicans.

Solages, one of seven Democrats on the 19-seat Legislature, was charged June 21 with misdemeanor assault and endangering the welfare of a child after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend while their child watched, according to court records. He has pleaded not guilty.

Several officials have called for Solages’ resignation, including county Legislator Laura Curran, the Democratic Nassau County executive candidate, and Jack Martins, her Republican opponent.

Solages, a three-term legislator from Valley Stream, is the seventh elected official or political leader from Nassau County to be arrested since 2015.

Five of the other six have been Republicans, including County Executive Edward Mangano and John Venditto, the former Oyster Bay town supervisor, whom federal authorities charged in October in an alleged bribe and kickback scheme. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Democratic candidates, including Curran, have used those arrests as ammunition during an election year in which all 19 legislative seats and three countywide offices are up for grabs, casting GOP administrations as hives of corruption and cronyism in desperate need of change.

But Solages arrest muddies that narrative, giving Republicans a chance to point to allegations that have nothing to do with betrayal of public trust, but are still graphic and likely to stick in voters’ minds, Dawidziak and two top Nassau Democrats said.

“It certainly weakens the position of Democrats,” Steve Markowitz, the president of the Great Neck Democratic Club, said. “People react to acts of personal criminal activity or violence. People react to anything that has salacious details in it, and we see it at the national level. Stuff can be deflected easily. So it’s hard to predict.”

The domestic violence charges could particularly impact Democrats’ standing with women, a constituency on which they rely heavily in Nassau County elections, Dawidziak said.

While he acknowledged that Solages’ arrest “can complicate what is otherwise a very clear story,” Jay Jacobs, the Nassau County Democratic Committee chairman, said he has not heard clamoring from women’s groups to oust the legislator.

Jacobs said Nassau voters will distinguish one legislator’s personal misdeeds from the litany of Republican corruption scandals that have increased their tax burdens.

“I think if we’re voting on which party is going to be more inherently honest or trustworthy, I think there’s a legitimate argument that goes to the Democrats,” Markowitz said.

For Republicans, Solages’ arrest brings back into the public spotlight the history of Democratic county legislators breaking the law, said E. O’Brien Murray, the chief political strategist for Martins, a former state senator.

Four Democratic legislators were hit with criminal charges ranging from burglary to bribery between 2001 and 2015, as reported last week in Newsday’s The Point newsletter.

“They buried their head in the sand, and when you have somebody like Laura Curran running and trying to say that her reason for being is primarily what’s going on on the other side, this just reminds the voters that that’s not the case,” Murray said.

Philip Shulman, a Curran campaign spokesman, said the attacks from Martins’ campaign come out of “the same political playbook that gave us Ed Mangano and Dean Skelos,” the former Republican state senator from Rockville Centre who is appealing his 2015 federal corruption conviction.

“Laura Curran will clean up the culture of corruption that has plagued our government and ripped off Nassau County taxpayers,” Shulman said in a statement.

Solages referred a request for comment for this story to his attorney, Brian Griffin, who did not return two phone calls.

But in a Facebook post last Thursday, Solages denied the allegations against him and said he is innocent. Around 200 people commented on the post with words of support.

“I will continue to serve my constituency as I’ve done,” Solages wrote.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Carrie Solages has the “Right” to be treated fairly! He also has the “Right” to defend himself in a fair trial by a fair and un-bias jury. He has the “Right” to be free from Cruel and Un-usual Punishment if he’s convicted on [domestic violence] charges. None of these protections were given to Darryl Woody who was arrested on (falsified) domestic violence charges on Dec. 24th [Christmas Eve] 2010. Carrie Solages, unlike Darryl Woody, was treated ‘Civil’ when he was arrested. Darryl Woody was abused, beaten and denied medical attention for the injuries he sustained while being interrogated by Williston Park detectives trying to force him to sign a false statement incriminating himself. Darryl Woody was taken to NCCC where it was reported that Darryl Woody attempted suicide at the police station. This in an effort to justify Darryl’s head injuries. He was placed on 1to1 Suicide Supervision and segregated from the general jail population. Then on Dec.24, 2010 Darryl Woody was begging for his medications and medical treatment when he was attacked, brutalized and then tortured by seven jail guards that responded to Darryl Woody’s (supposed) attempted suicide_while on 1to1 Suicide Supervision and held in a suicide prevention cell. Darryl was (supposedly) allowed to remove part of a smoke detector to use to slash his wrist and neck in an effort to get his [prescribed] medications and medical treatment for the head injuries that interrogating detectives described as “banging his head against a cement wall.” Darryl was taken to the medical unit at NCCC where he was hidden away for seventeen hours and [repeatedly] tortured by pepper gas by correctional guards at the jail. He was pepper gassed on four separate incidents and treated four times for burns that he received from the excessive force and abuse. Darryl words were “I did this to get my medications. I told them when I came in that I needed my medications and they wouldn’t give them to me.” [I’m sorry] but I need them. Days later while ‘still’ on 1to1 Suicide Supervision, and ‘still’ awaiting a bed in the psychiatric ward at NUMC, Darryl Woody was (supposedly) “Found” hanging by a sheet in the mental observation ward by jail guard that were suppose to be watching him on 1to1 Suicide Supervision (suicide-watch). His death was caught on Video Surveillance Cameras at NUMC and NCCC. These government protected files have been denied to us by NUMC, NCCC, and Nassau County (corrupt) Supreme Court Justices. NUMC blames the jail. NCCC blames the Medical Center. Both conspire to obstruct justice by hiding the Video(s) that depicts Darryl Woody’s neglect, abuse, torture, deliberate indifference, and the ‘true cause’ of Darryl Woody’s death, while ‘still’ on [1to1] Suicide Supervision and under doctors care at NUMC. Mr. Carrie Solages was elected to the legislature that voted to approve the installation of the Video Surveillance Cameras ordered by federal authorities and Nassau County’s DA’s Office in response to the [1999] beating (stomping) death of inmate Thomas Pizzuto for begging for ‘his’ prescribed medications. Five jail guards were convicted for Pizzuto’s death. Thomas Pizzuto’s death forced Nassau County’s (former) top Executive Thomas Gullota to install Cameras at NCCC and in the medical areas at NUMC. Darryl Woody, on the other hand, was denied this investigative tool that was suppose to protect the safety and security of correctional-staff and inmates. The Video Cameras were supposedly installed to protect the integrity of investigations into excessive force abuse claims by inmates against abusive (killer) jail guards at NCCC. Legislator Carrie Solages should show due diligence in this Matter Of Darryl Woody since he too was arrested for the same charge in Nassau County. Carrie Solages is innocent until proven guilty. “What About Darryl Woody!” His death was caught on Video Surveillance Cameras at NUMC and NCCC. Cameras approved by the legislature! Unfortunately, Darryl Woody wasn’t entitled to the same Constitutional Protections that Carrie Solages was given. Carrie Solages got released on his own recognizance; Darryl Woody got death and depravation of his Civil Rights to a fair trial that considers all the evidence and facts. Legislator Carrie Solages is in a unique position facing domestic violence charges. His position on the legislature is to uphold his ethical duties to the public and to Darryl Woody. All Carrie Solages has to do is ask “What About Darryl Woody!” to start the inquiry into the denied Video Surveillance Recordings of Darryl Woody’s death. He too may have been a victim of the corrupt judicial system that hides the truth! ‘What Does NUMC, NCCC, and Nassau County’s government administration (led by his ‘Boss’ (federally indicted) Ed- sticky-fingers -Mangano) Have To Hide? “We Can Handle The Truth!” Yes. Solages has the Right to be silent but his elected position in government requires that he speak out against fraud, corruption, and criminal actions that Nassau County tax-payers pay for in jury awards.

  2. !No justice for Darryl Woody in Nassau County’s (corrupt Supreme Courts in Mineola. Corruption, tampering, conflicts of interests and [bias] political engineering, and prejudice, denies Darryl Woody from getting justice in Nassau County’s Supreme Courts in Mineola. Darryl Woody’s lawsuit against NUMC, Nassau County, and Nassau County’s Police Department was filed on behalf of Darryl for wrongful death. Darryl Woody’s January 3, 2011 death ,while [still] on 1to1 constant (suicide)watch was caught on Video Surveillance Cameras at NUMC and at NCCC. The jail blames NUMC. The Medical Center blames NCCC. Both conspire to violate Darryl Woody’s Human and Civil Rights by hiding the truth about Darryl’s (supposed) death by asphyxiation while “still’ on 1to1 constant watch and under doctors care at NUMC. Darryl’s death was ruled a suicide by hanging by the medical examiner. This is a homicide that’s being covered-up as a suicide by NUMC NCCC< and Nassau County (corrupt) Executive Administration led by Nassau County's (federally indicted) 'Boss' Ed- sticky-fingers -Mangano and members [operatives] on the local legislature who voted approval of the Video Surveillance Cameras at the jail. Nassau County's (former) Executive Thomas Gullota was ordered by federal authorities, in response to the [1999] beating death of Thomas Pizzuto, to implement and install the Video Surveillance Cameras at NCCC and in NUMC medical areas. The Cameras were installed to protect the integrity of investigations into jail abuse by correctional guards against inmates at NCCC. Darryl Woody Civil Rights to Due process has been injudiciously denied by the [criminally] corrupt and unethical trial engineering designed to keep Darryl Woody's lawsuit out of federal courts where Darryl Woody case will get a fair and un-bias assessment by a federal jury with [no] political ties to Nassau County's pay-to-play politics. Darryl Woody can't get a fair trial in Nassau Country Courts in Mineola where it is being litigated. The Courts are complicit in this cover-up. Motions for Discovery for the production/ review of the government protected (electronic) files have been denied by bias, unethical justices that have sided with the defendant corporations and the government administrative [ Executive] establishment, to obstruct justice in the legal process that insures Darryl Woody gets a fair trial that's represented by all the states evidence, witnesses, reports, and_Surveillance Video Files collected, to effectively prosecute this Matter Of Darryl Woody. This is a cover-up; a "Major Scandal that's being perpetrated against an innocent, mentally-ill, pre-trial detainee, who, like Thomas Pizzuto, was begging for his medications, when he was attacked, beaten and brutalized for seventeen hours, before being transported to NUMC for treatment. Days later, while "still" on 1to1 constant (suicide) watch, Darry Woody was said to have been "Found Hanging by a bed sheet by jail guard that who's duty it was to sit at his room [#333) door! How is a prisoner "Found' Hanging" when there's suppose to be a 24 hour jail guard sitting at his door to prevent a suicide? What's NUMC, NCCC, and Nassau County's Executive/Corporate affiliates "have to hide? "We Can Handle TheTruth!" "Suicide or Homicide?" You Decide! "Release The Video(s)!" This is a Federal Civil Rights Case. No Justice for Darryl Woody in NAssau County (corrupt) Supreme Courts in Mineola New York. Trail Date set for September 11, 2017. Index: 017721/ 2011. FOIL Request to [No] avail!

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