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CB 9 retains board member accused of anti-Semitic remark

CB 9 retains board member accused of anti-Semitic remark
By Bianca Fortis

Community Board 9 voted to retain Sam Esposito, a longtime member, after he was accused of making anti-Semitic remarks to three board members earlier this year.

Of the board’s 44 members who were present at their meeting in Richmond Hill Tuesday night, 34 voted against Esposito’s removal and 10 voted in favor of it.

Community Board 9 comprises Kew Gardens, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill and Ozone Park.

The controversy centers around an email that Esposito wrote over the summer in which he criticized three other members, Evelyn Baron, Wally Bock and Jan Fenster, for complaining about food served at a meeting that was “not kosher enough.” Esposito allegedly repeatedly referred to the Jewish faith throughout the email.

The three members took the remarks in the email to be offensive and asked for Esposito’s removal.

Immediately after the results of the vote were announced, Bock stood up and resigned.

“I cannot in good conscience continue to sit on a board like this that will condone the behavior of Sam Esposito,” he said.

Baron and Fenster also left the meeting with Bock, but did not indicate whether they were formally resigning. They declined to comment further.

Reach reporter Bianca Fortis by email at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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