As it turns out, fire may in fact be accompanied by smoke, or in the case of Queens City Councilperson Dennis Gallagher (R-Middle Village), a rape indictment by a separate sexual harassment allegation—from a second accuser.
The New York Post reported today that a 23-year-old who volunteered at Gallagher’s office two and a half years ago, walked off the job after Gallagher summoned her to his back office and asked her to show him her breasts, and that her testimony was instrumental in the grand jury proceedings that led to his indictment on August 2, 2007. The alleged victim claims that Gallagher met her while drinking in a Middle Village bar/restaurant and then took her to his district office where she says the rape occured.
The Post’s fact-gatherers may not be known for pinpoint accuracy; their source was an “ex-aide” who knows the “former-volunteer” whose exact testimony was sealed. And in a July 20 Queens Tribune story on Gallagher, who maintains he’s guilty of adultery only, three unnamed associates, and Councilperson Peter Vallone, Jr. (D-Astoria) vouched for Gallagher, saying they found the allegations hard to believe. But they do describe an established-pattern of hard drinking (“I’ve seen him up on chairs, chugging, but it isn’t all that often that I’ve seen him over the top,” an friend told the Tribune). And yet another anonymous source told the Post that “the Gallagher marriage … has been on the rocks for years because of his heavy drinking and womanizing.”) City Council’s Standards and Ethics committee was scheduled to hold a closed-door review of the 10-count indictment today.