Gang of Four Reunites for Lunch Only

ALBANY—The so-called gang of four that once opposed State Senator Malcolm Smith in his quest to lead the State Senate had a reunion lunch this afternoon before another extraordinary session in which nothing of substance was accomplished.

But they are a gang no longer. Two of them—Senators Pedro Espada Jr. and Hiram Monserrate—defected from the Democratic ranks to spark a crippling leadership battle. Monserrate has since returned to the Democratic fold. Espada said he wasn’t trying to convert his old compatriots to the “coalition” government in which he is the lone Democrat, they just talked about issues of “information flow.”

“I think, hopefully today, there will be a quantum leap in terms of the information flow,” Espada said. We always worry that members don’t have the information to act and to decide, so I think that will happen today.”

The lunch, at the Albany restaurant Bongiorno’s, was paid for by Senator Carl Kruger, a Brooklyn Democrat who shuffled past me when I asked him for comment. Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. said it was “a nice restaurant.”

“We’re working something out,” he said, repeating as much when asked for details. “About the problem that we’re facing. The things that are going on in here. We’re trying to work something out.”

He said it would be clear “by Thursday.”

Gang of Four Reunites for Lunch Only