Ydanis Rodriguez Fires Controversial Council Aide

Ydanis Rodriguez (Photo: New York City Council)

Ydanis Rodriguez told The Politicker he is getting rid of his spokesman, David Segal, after the New York Post published a story revealing Mr. Segal spent six months in federal prison and four months on house arrest after attempting to burn down an army recruitment center in The Bronx.

“He is a very hardworking person during the time that he’s been in my office,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “I didn’t know about any crime that he did or that he spent time in jail in the past and he’s being relieved from my staff.”

Mr. Segal, 26, was 19-years-old at the time of his crime. The New York Times published an account of his arrest when it first occurred. According to the Times, Mr. Segal was arrested “before dawn” after he “threw a burning rag into an Army recruiting station that was closed for the night in the Parkchester section of the Bronx, and jammed the door locks with powerful glue.” At the time of his arrest, the police said Mr. Segal was  “wearing rubber gloves … carrying a backpack with glue and maps locating the recruiting station” and “a handwritten note declaring that a ‘wave of violence’ would occur throughout the Northeast … aimed at the ‘military industrial complex’ in response to American military actions.”

Mr. Segal, who began working for Mr. Rodriguez last March, told us he noted he had been convicted of a crime on his job application, but did not provide additional specifics.

“I checked off that I was convicted of a crime,” he said.

Mr. Segal told us the incident came out of his opposition to the Iraq War and that he believes he’s since found “other ways” to express his “committiment to social justice.”

“I’ve always had a strong commitment to social justice and, in 2005, I disagreed with the Iraq War and I continue to disagree with the Iraq War today,” he said. ‘I’ve found other ways that I think I can give back to society and advocate for working and middle class people, specifically when it comes to housing or jobs and education in the city.”

Mr. Segal told us he believes he made a positive contirbution to the City through his work with Mr. Rodriguez.

“I think I’ve added something positive to the city while I’ve been doing that,” he said. “I apologize to anybody who is disappointed in me in light of all this and to anyone who disagrees with my past.”

Ydanis Rodriguez Fires Controversial Council Aide