Brown canvassers say campaign has not paid them

By Sarina Trangle

Everly Brown was apparently not the only loser at his Farmers Boulevard headquarters primary night.

Canvassers who agreed to hand out literature for the candidate Sept. 9 said when they returned to Brown’s 114-34 Farmers Blvd. office after polls closed, campaign staff said they did not have enough money to pay them the agreed upon $150 in cash.

With police supervising, Brown’s team had the workers line up, called them in the office a few at a time, informed them the treasurer had messed up the account and gave them $60 or $70 dollars, according to workers Melsun Greyer and Julie Tate.

Greyer said he and about 60 others were waiting on line when they saw Brown, his treasurer and other staff sneak out the back door.

“From 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., they had us out there waiting,” Greyer said. “They made us all sign receipts and said, ‘Everybody line up; we’re going to pay you.’ But they never did.”

Greyer said he returned to Brown’s campaign office Wednesday and Thursday but has not been able to get compensated.

Brown unsuccessfully challenged state Sen. James Sanders (D-South Ozone Park) and Bayswater real estate executive Gian Jones in the 10th state Senate District, which runs from Arverne to Far Rockaway and north through South Jamaica, South Ozone Park and Richmond Hill.

Brown urged those with questions or concerns to call his treasurer.

“I have no idea what is going on,” Brown said. “I left early.”

Brown’s campaign manager and treasurer did not return calls for comment.

A note posted on Brown’s website under the header “Conflict resolution,” asks people with payment issues to e-mail the campaign.

The message said more than 200 arrived at the headquarters, but “70 percent of those persons DID NOT work on that day.” It says police were called to establish order, but the situation got out of control, and officers had to escort campaign staff to their cars.

“Operations were shut down on recommendation of the police,” the website said. “Employees of the Brown campaign were escorted by officers into their vehicles. They were greeted by individuals carrying weapons, and were followed by vehicles. Their lives were all in danger, and in fear for their lives, they had to establish themselves somewhere safe.”

The message pledges to ensure everyone gets paid.

The Police Department confirmed officers were dispatched to Brown headquarters at about 9:30 p.m. based on a complaint that people were refusing to leave the area and a riot may be imminent. The NYPD said these issues had dissipated when officers arrived. The NYPD had no record of escorting anyone at that location.

There were no reports of injuries or anybody with weapons, according to police.

The NYPD said it has no record of Brown filing a complaint about theft from his campaign committee.

Tate, another canvasser, said she approached Brown about campaign jobs for youth when she saw him handing out literature at Baisley Park Houses’ family day. Brown informed her he would need many canvassers for the Democratic Primary and she helped marshal a crew together, according to Tate.

But she said there were no checks to be seen when polls closed at 9 p.m.

“He said, ‘Send me as many as you can,’” Tate said. “So I did.”

Reach reporter Sarina Trangle at 718-260-4546 or by e-mail at stran‌[email protected]‌ngloc‌al.com.