A New York City Councilman was ousted from his position on Monday over allegations raised by his staff related to ethics violations, including that he forced staffers to help his wife with her work for SEIU.
Andy King, a Democrat from the Bronx, was accused by his staff of belligerent behavior and ethics violations, including using public money for his personal use. The City Council voted 48-2 to expel him.
King was accused of helping his wife, Neva Shillingford-King, in her position as an executive vice-president for 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. An ethics committee report said King allowed his wife to use City Council resources for union work and that he hired union workers for positions on his staff. SEIU announced in February, when the allegations first surfaced, that it was suspending Shillingford-King for three months.
The staffers accusing King are themselves unionized. The New York City Council staff unionized in January, after 50% of workers signed union cards. While it is not unusual for public workers to unionize, it is still unusual for politically appointed workers to join a union.
A special election will be called to fill King’s seat.