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Boro Prez Diaz axes board members

Bronx Times

BREAKING NEWS – It looks like another bloodbath at a local community board, with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. swinging the ax.

He chopped six members from Soundview’s Community Board 9 who were up for re-appointment.

It was the second time Diaz has created a bloodbath at the board, in an apparent attempt to remove its district manager, who has tangled over the years with both Diaz and his state Senate father, Ruben Diaz Sr.

The junior Diaz failed to re-appoint 15 board members last year, replacing them with members he hoped would vote District Manager Francisco Gonzalez out of office.

That attempt failed, however, despite the newly-appointed members repeatedly presenting motions calling for his dismissal.

Gonzalez had been the subject of a city probe looking into claims he misused the CB9’s offices to run his nonprofit, the Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade. He was not immediately available for comment.

In the latest round of board appointments , Diaz axed Ahia Muhammed, Lydia Bauza, Mohammed Chowdhury, Mary Goytia, Hector Osorio and Steven Rivera.

Another seven Board 9 members did not seek re-appointment. “Community board appointments and reappointments are made at the discretion of the borough president, in consultation with the local City Council members,” said Diaz spokesman John DeSio. “We have a long internal process.”

Board 9 Chairwoman Cheryl Marrow said she received no explanation for the borough president’s actions in the latest cuts.

The board, which also covers Castle Hill and Parkchester, has been in turmoil for some time as infighting has kept members from discussing community issues.

No other board has faced a higher number of dismissals than Community Board 9.

The last major board cut came in 2007 when then Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr. “fired” several Community Board 4 members who voted against the building of the new Yankee Stadium.

The nonbinding vote proved embarrassing for Carrion, who lobbied the 39 board members to jump on board. Carrion’s press secretary brushed off the allegations at the time as revenge, instead calling it an effort to expand community involvement.

David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383

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