Bloomberg Commissioner Running for Martinez’s Council Seat

Michael Bloomberg’s commissioner for Immigrant Affairs, Guillermo Linares, is resigning his position, according to a spokesman for the mayor. This will clear the way for Linares to run for the City Council seat vacated yesterday by Miguel Martinez of Washington Heights.

An official statement from the mayor is due shortly.

Martinez resigned yesterday amid a probe of his funding for a nonprofit group in his district, which he’s represented since 2002. Linares was his immediate predecessor.

Linares is expected to be put on the ballot by replacing Martinez on his petitions filings. The replacement is expected to be made official by the three-person committee to fill vacancies, which each candidate assembles.

Among the people on Miguel Martinez’s three-person committee to fill vacancies is Placido Rodriguez, the treasurer who, along with Martinez, was fined for submitting fake receipts made to look like the originals to the city’s Campaign Finance Board.

The CFB said the actions “did not rise to the level of fraud,” but it did require that Martinez and Rodriquez return “all public funds received by the Campaign for the 2001 elections.”

The CFB goes on to list a dozen specific penalties stemming from that campaign.

The total of the fines assessed to Martinez and Rodriquez was $44,780. Ray Rivera has details on that.

The Manhattan Times has more on Linares.

UPDATE: Here’s an official statement from Bloomberg:

“Last night, Dr. Guillermo Linares told me that he is going to stand for election in the City Council’s tenth district, and he resigned – effective immediately – as the City’s Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs to avoid any potential conflict of interest.

“Even before he joined our Administration in July 2004, I counted Guillermo as an adviser, and I have since come to count him as a friend. As Commissioner, Guillermo spearheaded our efforts to ensure that government services are accessible and understandable to all New Yorkers, regardless of their immigration status or native language.

“Guillermo made history when he was elected to represent Upper Manhattan in 1991 in the City Council, becoming the first person born in the Dominican Republic elected to public office anywhere in the United States. But more importantly, he has helped us make a major difference in the lives of every immigrant community over the last five years. Guillermo has been an important part of our efforts to deliver better government services to the hard-working people from around the world who come to New York seeking greater opportunities for themselves and their families. We will miss his leadership, and I wish him all the best.

“Effective today, Deputy Commissioner Erik Paulino will oversee the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.”

Bloomberg Commissioner Running for Martinez’s Council Seat