Video: Cuomo Has ‘Very Uncomfortable’ Encounter With Vito Lopez at Meeting With Rebbes in Willy


cuomo-small[Video below.] Andrew Cuomo came face to face Sunday with embattled Brooklyn powerbroker Vito Lopez, making for a “very uncomfortable” encounter, witnesses said. Cuomo, the state’s Democratic attorney general, who is running for governor, had set up a meeting with Chassidic leaders in Brooklyn.One of the Jewish leaders invited Lopez, an assemblyman slammed in a city report that found his social services empire, Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, billed for $340,000 in questionable expenses.

Ridgewood Bushwick is also the subject of two federal probes.

“It looked to me that Andrew Cuomo was totally surprised to see him, and I don’t think he was too happy,” said Rabbi Moishe Indig, who witnessed the meeting. “I watched the look on his face. … He was very, very uncomfortable.”

As he runs for governor, Cuomo has worked hard to distance himself from pols linked to Albany’s dysfunction.

Cuomo “said specifically he [didn’t] want to have any pictures with Vito Lopez,” one source said. But Cuomo couldn’t block the photo op with Lopez, who is also Brooklyn’s Democratic Party boss.

The two men were snapped in a picture outside the home of Rav Zalman Teitelbaum of Satmar.

“It was a meeting with the leaders of the Jewish community in Brooklyn attended by over 50 people, and [Lopez] was invited by the Chassidic leaders who organized it,” a Cuomo spokesman said.

Lopez, who is about to enter the hospital for cancer treatments, asked the admorim for a bracha for the radiation treatment, a source said.

cuomoRabbi David Niederman, who invited Lopez, said, “We regularly invite elected officials to our community for such discussions.”

“Assemblyman Lopez was one of the local elected officials we invited to our community today to discuss issues of importance to us,” Niederman said.

Earlier yesterday, Cuomo said he was still reviewing a new audit submitted by Lopez’s Ridgewood Bushwick nonprofit.

The new audit reports that Lopez’s friend and campaign treasurer – who are both staffers at Ridgewood Bushwick – earned $40,000 more than earlier stated. Ridgewood Bushwick had failed to file the audit earlier, causing its state nonprofit registration to lapse.

The city has put all new contracts with Ridgewood Bushwick on hold until the attorney general gives the all-clear.

The Paterson administration has also frozen all state funding for Lopez’s nonprofit empire.

Click below for a video of Cuomo’s visits. Video filmed by R’ Shimon Gifter:

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{NY Daily News/}


  1. How ironic! Any idiot knows that Vito would have nothing without his criminal Cuomo companion (can you spell HUD?) Please let’s not keep making the same mistakes over and over. Don’t let Andrew finish NY like his daddy started to do.

  2. Lopez was the only one of the local elected officials invited, thats one of the reasons we need to get rid of him, why didnt he invited me? i have also issues to discuss…..