Levenson, Martinez Testify in Eugene Case

An informed reader tells me that a federal judge in Brooklyn is hearing testimony from a consultant to Mathieu Eugene and a high-ranking City Council aide to determine whether Eugene got an unfair advantage in his second run for City Council.

Eugene, for those of you who haven’t followed this strange tale, won an initial special election for a council seat in Brooklyn, but didn’t take office after he was unable to prove that he was a resident in the district.

At issue is whether Eugene’s consultant Scott Levenson and Ramon Martinez, the first deputy chief of staff to Council Speaker Christine Quinn, had discussions shortly after that Feb. 20 election about Eugene’s plans to run a second time — while his campaign was still publicly maintaining that he was planning to offer proof of his residency and take office.

The complaint is being made by two would-be candidates, Wellington Sharpe and Maria Gina Faust, who are seeking to join Eugene and another candidate on the ballot for the upcoming election on April 24th, but were disqualified because they didn’t have enough valid signatures on their petitions.

Yesterday, Elizabeth Fine, the general counsel to the City Council, told the judge that Levenson and Martinez may have communicated before Eugene announced he would seek to run for office a second time.

Court proceedings were scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.