BY Joe Anuta
Nearly two months after a Rochdale Little League coach was accused of sexually abusing his players, a Woodhaven lawmaker called on a former state Assembly hopeful to aid in the investigation.
Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) released a statement last week saying that alleged pedophile David Hartshorn was the campaign manager for Joe Fox, a Forest Hills lawyer who ran for the Assembly seat held by Andrew Hevesi last year but was defeated in the Democratic primary by the incumbent..
“Fox should immediately provide police with a list of all children brought to campaign events by Hartshorn so they can be interviewed by police and counselors to ensure that they were not also victims of abuse and receive proper counseling if needed,” Miller said in a statement.
But Fox said Hartshorn was hired as a subcontractor by his campaign’s management firm and was not his campaign manager.
“Assemblyman Miller’s attempt to gain political advantage from this tragedy is disgraceful,” Fox said. “Mr. Miller has never met me. If he had, he would know that I do the right thing, regardless of the consequences.”
Fox said he worked for several years in the Special Victims Bureau of the Queens district attorney’s office, which protects and advocates for victimized children, and that he co-founded a nonprofit that focused on helping children and battered women.
“The conduct that Mr. Hartshorn is charged with goes against every grain of my being,” Fox said. “It pains my soul to hear of the alleged abuse.”
Fox added that if he believed he could be of help, he would have already gone to the police.
“As an attorney and officer of the court, I recognize the investigation is continuing,” Fox said. “I stand ready to assist the investigators at any time.”
A spokesman for Miller said that after Hartshorn was charged with the crime, the assemblyman was simply trying to help.
“All Mike was doing was looking out for the children,” the spokesman said.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.