Tag Archive for: Free Lance

(Originally printed in The Bronx Times)

By John Doyle, Ellen Amy Cohen, Cynthia Conley, Marlena Fitzpatrick Garcia, Abby Rosenswaike, Karen Garcia & Eileen Keogh

We write in response to the recent piece on now-departed City Island Civic President Bill Stanton. It is not hyperbolic to say few individuals have been as divisive, intolerant, or untruthful as Mr. Stanton. Do not take our word for it — you can read the numerous news reports about his racist antics and questionable biographical claims.

The Kansas City Star called him a “clown,” while news stations throughout the area questioned his continued misrepresentation of his credentials during the “Baby Lisa” saga. Closer to home, The Journal News investigated his questionable business practices, including using his namesake private investigation firm to pressure unassuming residents of Greenburgh to sign misleading affidavits. Moreover, both Crooks and Liars and Welcome2TheBronx helped shine a harsh spotlight on his hateful and antisemitic social media history. Amazingly, none of these incidents could shame Stanton into stepping down. Only the Free Lance’s exposé of his questionable disability pension seemed to finally trigger (no pun intended) — within days — his resignation.

Stanton’s salacious, dog-whistling, and, yes, partisan tactics continued into our City Island community and its discourse. Within the neighborhood, his demagogy included whipping the Island into a frenzy about the opioid crisis — contributing to police raids on faulty information — as Stanton did nothing substantive to help those suffering from addiction. Nothing beyond shutting down detractors who tried to speak up in civic meetings, who were only later validated by independent media. He then unsuccessfully sought to sue these detractors, largely resulting in his cases being laughed out of court, his legal claims being as much of a joke as his overhyped police credentials.

Moreover, continuous fear-mongering has been Stanton’s M.O. during these last 15 years. This included the proposed migrant detention area, xenophobically calling the intended occupants “drug mules,” “drug smugglers,” and “MS 13 members” before they had even arrived. Rhetoric that attracted Jan. 6 organizers and “Proud Boys” to his banner, resulting in nationwide negative news coverage for our Island. Stanton had a long pattern of similar actions- in 2020, he smeared those organizing a peaceful march about racial equity, calling it a supposed “Antifa” rally that would be “anything but a ‘peaceful protest.’” It was peaceful; he was wrong, and reeling with egg on his face from being so mistaken, Stanton publicly announced he would step down from the Civic, only to reverse that decision privately, dragging this ordeal out for three more years. Even longer than Brexit!

When someone lies about their claims, biography, accomplishments, and seemingly everything else to spew bigotry and discord, they are not a “community activist” who was “always making sure the community was taken care of.” Instead, they have become the Bronx’s version of George Santos. Thanks to the probing of the media, it is only fitting that both fabulists have (finally!) been deposed from positions of relevance as we start this new year. Unfortunately for us, while Mr. Santos no longer collects a Congressional salary and is likely on his way to a jail cell, Mr. Stanton continues to receive nearly $3,000 a month of our tax dollars in perpetuity under very dubious circumstances.
We’ll leave it to you to determine who’s having the last laugh.

John Doyle, Ellen Amy Cohen, Marlena Fitzpatrick Garcia, Abby Rosenswaike, Karen Garcia, Eileen Keogh

(Read in printed edition of The Bronx Times)

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