By Sherley Boursiquot
Brooklyn Democratic operative Samuel Pierre is dropping out of November’s special election, where he was looking to fill convicted ex-state Sen. John Sampson Senate seat.
“I plan to withdraw my campaign for the special election this November, however I am currently speaking to my family, supporters and friends to see what the best course of action will be for my future as a public servant,” Pierre said.
Earlier this month, Brooklyn Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, accused the Kings County Democratic Party of spreading misinformation about Pierre’s 2013 misdemeanor conviction.
Pierre pleaded guilty in November 2013 to a federal misdemeanor charge of accepting a gratuity over the gratuitous amount of $50 in 2008. He took two designer t-shirts and free dinners from a family friend, Kenol Janvier– after helping him with his green card issues.
“What they won’t tell you is that I was never offered or accepted money in exchange for my help nor was I convicted of such acts,” he said.
Pierre–now 30–who was fined $5,000 and sentenced to three years’ probation, including three months home confinement, said he was 22 years old when this incident occurred. He indicated that if it were to happen again in 2015, he would take a much different approach.
“I would find a way to explain to any constituent that these are the rules and I can get into some serious trouble for violating these rules. After explaining this to any Haitian American constituent, I am sure they will understand, forgive and empathize with my situation,” he said.
Chairman Frank Seddio and Law Chair Frank Carone, a lawyer from Pierre’s then opponent, Assemblywoman Roxanne Persaud campaign, leaked information to the New York Post accusing the budding politician of another fraudulent activity. They claimed that he along with Janvier, fleeced Haitians of more than $11,000 after promising to help them solve their immigration problems.
Although Pierre has to jointly pay the victims $11,300 in restitution, he stressed that he had never accepted money from anyone and claimed that this fraudulent activity was “unbeknownst” to him.
“The family friend was using my position as an immigration specialist to defraud people of the $11,000.00. The Haitian constituents trusted him to help them with their immigration problems and he was bringing the files to me and asking me to look into the cases, but he never told me he was charging people money,” he explained.
According to Pierre, Magistrate Judge Kevin Fox, who was the presiding judge for his case, said Pierre should have taken “aggressive steps to bring the situation to light” and not just tell the Chief of Staff when he found out Janvier was deceiving the Haitian community.
Despite all the accusations, Pierre says the 19th Senatorial District is primarily concerned with the issues that continue to keep them from being successful, such as high crimes, poor performing schools, and unemployment.
“I’ve been on the front lines tackling these issues, fighting to bring the best to these neighborhoods and I will continue to be an advocate and a champion for my constituents,” he said.
Pierre claims he is no longer in communication with Janvier; he has forgiven him and is “moving forward.”