Arnie Paglia and the Peekskill Dem’s Division Street Corruption

paglia_div_st

With all the inquiries and comments we have received, it is time to expose another player in the world of Peekskill Democratic Party politics – Arnie Paglia. You may have seen him over the years speaking at the podium at Common Council meetings or maybe you even ate at his restaurant, The Division Street Grill. You know, that place that people only go to one time because of how horrible the food is. Yes, the same place that was trashed on a national TV show “Restaurant Stakeout.” The title of the show is even called “Division Street Disaster.” More on the restaurant later.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/restaurant-stakeout/400-series/division-street-disaster.html

Paglia has a history of directing and influencing Democratic elected officials. He gets involved in their campaigns, tells them what to believe, and then uses his influence with them to protect his illegal activities and code violations in the downtown. You see, he owns multiple properties in the Business District besides his Division Street restaurant. He owns two properties on Bank Street. One had a terrible fire a few years back because of illegal wiring and other violations – but nothing happened to him because he was protected by then Mayor Foster and the all-Democratic council. He then purchased the former Hugo’s Restaurant on Brown Street along with a partner (with whom he had a serious falling out with soon after the partnership began). Foster and the Council even directed over $170,000 in ‘grants’ to him to renovate the building – see what we mean by influence? Not surprisingly, after 5 years of ownership and financial gifts he still hasn’t opened the restaurant. Word is he is looking for new partners. His bad reputation is making it hard for him to find any. Oh, he has had offers from people who want to buy the building from him but he refuses to sell. He actually thinks he can be successful there. Maybe he has a plan to get more funds from his political friends.

Paglia even lies about his home address so he can vote in Peekskill elections and proclaim he is a Peekskill resident when speaking at meetings. He actually lives in Cortlandt Manor and uses his restaurant address as his home! Mayor Catalina recently highlighted this fact in a Council Meeting at City Hall. InsidePEEK will be monitoring the investigation that Catalina requested take place concerning his residence.

It is laughable that Paglia continues to believe he is knowledgeable about the restaurant business and business in general. He constantly attacks the Peekskill downtown Business Improvement District (BID) saying they are ineffective and that it was so much better when HE was in charge of the BID. However, InsidePEEK has learned that when Paglia was BID president he was forced out because approximately $30,000 of BID funds was unaccounted for by him. Rather than press charges against him and bring negative attention to the City, the BID Board at the time created a mutually agreed upon solution for him to quietly leave his position and keep the matter quiet. He probably assumes that so much time has passed he could get away with it. InsidePEEK has had numerous messages confirming the story.

Another tool Paglia uses to keep control over the Democrats is to host their fundraisers in his restaurant. They have even had their Election Day operation coordinated from there. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement – they both make money that is not officially claimed. The records at the Division Street Grill are not very complete – just ask the many employees (especially chefs) that don’t get paid their proper wages, or don’t get paid at all. Paglia’s newest tool, Councilman Noodle, has been holding fundraisers there for quite some time and has never claimed the proceeds from the events. InsidePEEK will be reporting more about that in a future post.

So the next time you see Arnie Paglia on TV speaking at a meeting you will know why. When you see him standing in his empty restaurant you will know why. When all his street tables are empty at a downtown festival while the other restaurants’ are full, you will know why. When Mayor Catalina has no patience for his ‘commentary’ at meetings you will know why. And eventually, when you see his restaurant boarded up, you will know why.

Coming soon in Future Posts:
Do We Really Know Andre “Noodle Noo” Rainey?
The Continuing Exploitation of Power by Drew Claxton

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: