Fagen Asked to Step Down

Councilman will continue to serve after indictment.

Michael Fagen, who last week was indicted for illegally collecting unemployment benefits, was asked by his fellow Democratic City Council members to either step aside or take a leave of absence.

Len Torres, who was first elected to the council with Fagen in 2009, said that he and the other members of the council felt strongly the Fagen needed time to deal with his legal issues, but Fagen refused and will continue to serve on the council, according to Newsday.

Fagen said:

"We're a close group. They were genuinely concerned about my well-being and offered me time away from council to focus in on my case."

A grand jury last week indicted Fagen for stealing more than $14,000 in unemployment compensation by concealing his employment as an elected city official from the state labor department. But Fagen's attorney, Marc Gann of Mineola, maintains his client's innocence and called the case a "political witch hunt."

When Fagen was arrested last June, originally charged with , at the next day’s City Council meeting James Lynch, a Walks resident, asked if Fagen would resign or at least recuse himself from voting on council agenda items during the ongoing investigation, and if the city council or corporation counsel would take any action in the case.

“Is there any kind of an ethics board that will be looking into this,” Lynch asked.

“Mr. Lynch, with all due respect, we’re not going to comment on that right now,” Council President Thomas Sofield Jr. said.

“I just think it’s a shame that while someone is under [a criminal] investigation like this, they still [vote], and they should just step aside,” Lynch said.

Fagen reminded Lynch and others that he is innocent until proven guilty. “I’m firmly behind that and I’m confident that I’ll be proven innocent,” he added.










JP Ashcroft February 19, 2012 at 05:15 AM
Margaret, how do you know he physically abused his wife? Do you have a copy of a Police report that states that?
Margaret February 19, 2012 at 08:06 AM
Yes, Mr. Gusler was suspended and had to go through "treatment" to see if he was competent for the job... Mr. Gusler, at least acknowledge when your party does wrong-- and mr. fagen being indicted on 38 counts of stealing from the tax payers is wrong
laocoon February 19, 2012 at 02:02 PM
I can't find a case where a public figure has ever sued successfully for slander or libel, and I spent about 20 minutes on LexisNexis looking for one. So you're blowing wind, Vera. You don't know what you're talking about. It's not surprising that like most Democrat hypocrites, you're defending a man beating his wife. Funny how from the other side of your mouth you are probably crying about women's rights. Does the Long Beach Democrat party platform defend wife-beating? I can't believe all the Truglodite Democrats are lining up to defend and endorse this type of behavior. As long as it's in the West End of course.
Lloyd February 19, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Why waste time defending Fagen and talking about libel and slander suits. Just get rid of him and insert another Democrat hack of your choosing. At least that lets the City and all of us move on.
Gretchen D. February 19, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Iaocoon, you don't get the point. Nobody is defending wife beating. If he is guilty of that, he should be punished. You, and the others have yet to state how you know this to be factual. If it happened, I'm sure it would have been documented, and that info would be easy to find, being that he is a public figure. That is the ONLY argument here.
Jay Gusler February 19, 2012 at 04:20 PM
@Jimargaret, I've only heard the tales of Fagen's domestic squabbles here on the Patch. Sadly, they've been foisted upon those of us that could care less about Fagen's personal life by scandal mongers such as yourself. Does character count? Sure, but what goes on in someone's personal life (even a public figure) is none of my business so long as it doesn't infringe upon his/her duties. You seem to expect perfection in the personal lives of our elected officials. I don't. If public service were restricted to only those of the most pristine character then there would be no one suited for office. Indeed, Fagen's treatment at the hands of the anonymous grenade throwers on the internet would be all the deterrent needed to insure that anyone that ever got a parking ticket would not run for office around here. And in direct response to your question, YES, I absolutely feel that Fagen should serve the citizens of this City until he's convicted or loses the next election. I've yet to see anything from Fagen to indicate that he has anything but the good of the City at heart. All the unnecessary chatter about his personal life doesn't change that. Now, turning back to you Jim, how do you explain your bilking of the taxpayers of this City during your time on the Civil Service Commission? Why were your misdeeds kept in house and not referred to the DA? Were you, or were you not, forced to make restitution to the City for over-charging for your CSC duties? Well?
Candygram for Mongo February 19, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Are we absolutely certain that Fagen took a baseball bat to his wife? Not sure there that info came from, but if so , bad news for him!
Lloyd February 20, 2012 at 01:01 AM
How do we know if Fagen was just showing his wife the new autographed Derek Jeter bat he bought for his kid?
Longbeacher February 20, 2012 at 08:27 PM
SO, Joel your talking about that democrat Kathleen Rice ? the won that charged him
Longbeacher February 20, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Susan Britt February 21, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Margaret, do you teach your children about the laws of this country and the presumption of innocence? If not you should be embarrassed in front of your children for a very different reason.
Susan Britt February 21, 2012 at 12:51 AM
I think Joel makes a very good point Margaret. You shuold move to a place where your ideology is welcome and consistent with the politics of the nation. Your statements indicate you would remove someones liberty based upon your pathetic pronouncements that he is guilty before you heard all the evidence. You have no idea what you are talking about.
Susan Britt February 21, 2012 at 12:53 AM
And chris d without a real name on here plans to spread the rumor...right chris?
Susan Britt February 21, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Margaret, the other rumor monger plans to spread it even more and as usual knows nothing about what she is talking about. Do you have access to police files or did you hear about this in the beauty parlor?
Susan Britt February 21, 2012 at 12:56 AM
No MeAgain, you are not clear about anything here. Is there something wrong with the water in LB? What is with you people?
Susan Britt February 21, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Margaret...you are not "straight" about anything. You are asking to get straight on this issue but you just started a rumor and now you want to get straight on the rumor you started. How about we start a rumor about you? Would you like that?
Susan Britt February 21, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Margaret, you use the terms "ethics" and "public knowledge" as if you had any. In my opinion you do not have any ethics. and you do not have much knowledge. You are nothing but a cheap gossip and you have lost credibility in any statement you make from now on. I would hate to be your neighbor.
Susan Britt February 21, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Vera, youmade an excellent point. If anyone knows Maragets last name it shuold be submitted to the appropriate party for handling. This pathetic twit just bought herself a lawsuit.
Susan Britt February 21, 2012 at 01:09 AM
So Iaocoon...you would like it if Mr Fagen would have to endure slander and libel and could not do anything about it? Maybe Margaret could make up a couple of stories about you, and we all know she knows how to do that, and see how you like it?
laocoon February 21, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Susan, unless you're getting something from the Democrats, you'd want this accused felon out of office. He's a distraction and makes a laughing stock out of this City. I'm not surprised. Much of Long Beach is made up of drunks and shanty losers who don't set very high standards. Do you buy beer and pot for your 15 year old too?
Susan Britt February 21, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Iaocoon, if I did not think you would bore the hell out of me with some weird answer I would ask what you meant by your last answer in which you accused me of taking something from the Democrats. I am not a democrat and I do not have a 15 years old. I have a brain which means I understand certain concepts and I think you understand the concept of "accused" vs "convicted". You use the term accurately to state the words "accused felon". So good for you. Now let me make this simple for you. Suppose I knew your last name and on this blog I accused you of beating your wife or girlfriend, sodomizing children near the school and using drugs. Suppose I pulled a "Margaret" and stated that everyone knows this and after all I learned this in the beauty parlor which is the repository of all wisdom. Now, how would you feel? I just ruined your reputation out of cruelty and now you have people wondering if it is true. Everyone you know is wondering about you. Your forum is this blog which is made up of some intelligent people and a lot of morons too. You will never convince anyone it is not true. It is of no moment that I had no real proof or actual knowledge. After all, I learned it from "everyone" who KNOWS. Now Margaret starts spreading the rumor with great conviction and before you know it you have a bad problem. Anyone who defends you is accused of getting something from someone to defend you. Make me feel like there is hope. Do you get my point???
Margaret February 21, 2012 at 05:09 AM
Susan, read the posts and the times these were posted... I did NOT start this rumor, rather commented on it. Get your facts straight dear.
Susan Britt February 21, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Hey Margaret......are you denying this quote taken directly from one of your statements. Or are you "Commenting" as you call it? Take another look at it. "yes, the police did show up to his house multiple times because he was very quick with hands often with his estranged wife- and he did not pay his mortgage so he now lives with his new gf and his wife moved w the kids to either east rockaway or lynbrook, i forget the exact location.... this man clearly is not a person with good morals or ethics and shouldnt represent us..." How do you know any of those facts are true?? You call this "commenting"???? You are a gossip monger of the worst kind and now you are trying to rewrite history to mischaracterize what you really did here. You do not have a clue as to what went on in this man's life nor do you know the facts of the accusations made against him. Yet you write with false conviction that you "know" the facts and in doing so are trying to hurt someones life. I will bet you do this all the time and in my opinion, anything you say should not carry any credibility whatsoever. And one more thing, you spooky old bat, do not call me "dear".
Margaret February 21, 2012 at 05:32 AM
Susan, I got caught up in this conversation and it took on a face of its own- Sticking to the facts and the issues at hand are what is important. I was wrong to let this get so far and I shouldn't have commented on and agreed with the rumors that what another poster said and I had also heard- I publically apologize and have removed my comments, as I do not post on here for people such as yourself to dislike my comments but rather comment to bring about different perspectives. I am sorry
Trying to Make Sense February 21, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Joel, Margaret, the non stop partisan, who has no interest in any kind of realities, just partisan warfare, will never be able to grasp the irrationality of her statements, could never re read them with an eye toward valid thoughtful consideration. Tables turned, one of her people indicted, she'd be arguing your point. I would think there is a good reason his colleagues asked him to step aside, but knowing his own truth, or like Clinton, knowing his accusers were living like Newt, he and only he can determine how to live through this indictment and trial. Thanks for speaking up for the Constitutional rights that Margaret doesn't seem to respect. But she will continue to respond with same... pure partisan, no interest in the good of Long Beach or the sanctity of our liberties.
Trying to Make Sense February 21, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Overstatement Eddie. Mr. Fagen's indictment will do none of those things. That said, his DEM colleagues see that there are indeed some negative externalities from his continued service and have asked him to take a leave, something he should consider as a team player. It is the optics of this that troubles all of us...it doesn't look good... it doesn't feel right... but his continued service will not change bond ratings, decisions to move to LB or to start a business here. Your # 5 is really over the top, no?
Trying to Make Sense February 21, 2012 at 01:29 PM
And anonymous accusers, what are they Iaocoon?
Trying to Make Sense February 21, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Mr. Ashcroft, I agree.
Candygram for Mongo February 21, 2012 at 04:38 PM
LOL "spooky old bat"
Eddie February 21, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Neal, as you say, "It doesn't look good". Everyone will look at it differently; corruption matters more to some than to others. But Long Beach does have a pretty lousy reputation. This can't help. I'm glad to see his fellow Councilmen calling for him to do the right thing. They'll be remembered for that judgement.


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