State Senator Ruben Diaz sent out one of his regular “What You Should Know” press releases to address the arrest of his campaign aide Clement Gardner for allegedly embezzling $75,000 from a charity founded by Mr. Diaz. Mr. Gardner’s arrest came after an FBI investigation into the charity, the Christian Community Benevolent Association. Mr. Diaz vehemently denied being involved in any wrongdoing.
“I assure you that if I ever lose my salvation, it will not be for taking money because I am in the business of giving not in the business of taking,” he wrote.
Mr. Diaz didn’t address whether he thought Mr. Gardner was guilty of anything, though he previously claimed to be “shocked” by the indictment. He also hinted he and Mr. Gardner should not be viewed negatively because of his close ties to legally troubled former senators Carl Kruger, Pedro Espada and Hiram Monserrate.
“‘Que sera que sera?’ is the question that everyone will be asking. ‘Is the fourth member of the Four Amigos involved in this?,” Mr. Diaz wrote. “Is he guilty by association?”
Read Mr. Diaz’s full statement below.
If you don’t know by now, you should know that one of my former staff and close ally, Clement Gardner, was arrested after being indicted by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Mr. Gardner served as the fiscal officer of the Christian Community Benevolent Association (CCBA), an organization that I founded in 1977 and proudly ran for 25 years helping to create jobs, housing and opportunities for needy people in the South Bronx.
Mr. Gardner was charged with embezzling $75,000 from the CCBA, bringing shame to one of the best Bronx not-for profit organizations that ever existed.
“Que sera que sera?” is the question that everyone will be asking.
“Is the fourth member of the Four Amigos involved in this?”
“Is the friend of Pedro Espada, Hiram Monserrate, and Carl Kruger a part of this?”
“Is he guilty by association?”
For now, my dear reader, you will have to wait for the results, but I assure you that if I ever lose my salvation, it will not be for taking money because I am in the business of giving not in the business of taking.
I am Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know – for now.