New York is a hell of a town – and state, thanks to corrupt officials


Bail & reform needed

New York, New York. Hell of a town. How about hell of a state?

Corruption? Indictment? Campaign finance fraud? Federal probe? Charged with bribery, falsification of records? Arrested by the FBI? In terms of officials, are we not the greatest — or what?

Until yesterday, politician, former developer, former state Sen. Brian Benjamin who just resigned was looking to be re-elected our lieutenant governor. Forget it. Better yet, shove it. The guy flunked math. His life story should begin “Once upon a crime . . .”

Lawyer Stanley Schlein, familiar with the players, the parolees and maybe even a cage of the Albany mice, says: “He has to know this has happened before in government. If you’re corrupt, at least be intelligent. To be or not to be a crook is one thing. But to be stupid is unforgivable.”

So what happens to this guy now, name still on the ballot?

“Three options. All begin with ‘D.’ Declination, disqualification or death. One is disqualify by relocating outside New York. Like move away someplace. He can opt for a letter to the Board of Elections for permission to leave the state. They then replace him on the ballot.”

For sure, state pros aren’t hustling to hand lyin’ Brian another appointment — like maybe making him a judge or anything. Imagine a felon saying to him, “Your Honor No. 4599756B . . .”

That’s the fallout politically — but legally? Que pasa with our alleged sticky finger former lieutenant governor legally? Who knows? Maybe dinner with Cuomo.

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In reel time

THOSE Oscar one-namers stay busy. Cumberbatch is doing a Roald Dahl thing called “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar””. . . Aunjanue’s grabbed some thriller series, which is named “61st Street” . . . Javier gets to play a ruling monarch in Disney’s “Little Mermaid””— a step up socially from playing a cheating bandleader . . . The Hollywood Reporter reports Kristen goes into “Crimes of the Future,” a thriller… Ariana’s next is “Kraven the Hunter.””I don’t know what that is. Doesn’t sound like any Spielberg musical.

Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington will produce August Wilson’s play “The Piano Lesson”.
AP/Nell Redmond

J.K. Simmons is always in something. I don’t know what, but he definitely works more than Kamala. Nicole’s lined up an “Aquaman” sequel . . .…About Will Smith, who knows. Even he doesn’t know. Maybe a boxing glove commercial . . . Judi’s doing “Allelujah,” a BBC movie that was a play . . .…Denzel will produce August Wilson’s play “The Piano Lesson” for the big screen. Will Smith might even find time for a practice session.

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She’s a Florida ‘Rose’

JACQUELINE Bisset was promoting her film “Loren and Rose” at the Sarasota Film Festival, which who knew they even had.

Her house phone didn’t work. Her cellphone didn’t answer. OK. So she calls me. “I live in the canyon. The strong wind killed off our current. Sometimes we have no lights, no hot water.” OK.

So where’s her film playing? “No place yet. It’s an indie. The director’s a young first-time filmmaker who doesn’t have a distributor and seems in no hurry to find one.” OK.

Jacqueline Bisset
Jacqueline Bisset poses during the Closing Night screening of “Loren & Rose” as part of the 24th annual Sarasota Film Festival on Apr. 9, 2022.
Getty Images for The Sarasota Film Festival)

And how did she make it through the pandemic? “I’m practical. I like working. I work steadily. I did a French language film, repair my own roof, do benchwork, replace tiles, wash my own car. I cook a lot. I muddle around.” OK.

And where’s she keep her awards and honors? “England.” Since she is English, I presume she has a home in England? “No. I just keep my things there.” OK.

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UPSTATE courtroom. Prisoner: “I am 100% innocent.””Judge: “Do you not have witnesses in this case?””Prisoner: “No. Who would take a witness along when you’re committing a robbery?”

Only in Albany, kids, only in Albany.



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