The state lawmaker tasked with oversight of the scandal-plagued city Board of Elections has at least four people close to her who are currently or were previously employed by the patronage-laden agency, The Post has learned.
Despite the apparent conflict of interest, Assemblywoman Latrice Walker (D-Brooklyn) chairs the body’s Election Law committee and helmed its hearing this week examining the Big Apple’s ranked-choice voting system in the aftermath of the BOE botching the preliminary tallies from the Democratic mayoral primary.
“We’re all working very hard to reform the Board of Elections and she’s very important in the Assembly to making that happen,” said former Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, who now heads the good government group Citizens Union.
“That’s not good,” she added. “It appears to be a conflict of interest.”
Records filed in Brooklyn Housing Court show that Walker shared a Herkimer Street address with Jonathan Anderson, a former BOE employee who she tagged in a Facebook post with photos of her daughter. Anderson separately posted scores of pictures of the adorable child, who he often identifies as his daughter.
“The most important thing in the universe is TIME,” he wrote in one December posting. “My baby is turning 9 (born) today. Let’s shower her with some love.”
Anderson started at the BOE in 2005, payroll records show. In recent years, he worked as a “temporary clerk” where he made as much as $25,000 annually from the part-time gig.
His social media shows he also worked as a party organizer and disc jockey, in addition to his duties at the agency.
According to his Facebook page and payroll records, Anderson recently moved to Georgia and no longer has the BOE gig.
He hung up when a Post reporter called for comment.
Three other members of the Anderson family — all of whom share a MacDougal Street address — have also worked for the Board of Elections, records show.
Steven Anderson currently works there as a voting machine technician and made $60,600 last year. He was first hired in 2014, records show.
Dwayne Anderson — who Walker described as her child’s uncle — also currently works there as a “temporary clerk,” where he made nearly $27,000 last year.
“Uncle Dwayne Anderson: Come … let’s do the ABC’s,” Walker wrote in a 2017 Twitter post, that she said described as the “funniest moment” of that weekend.
She wrote her daughter responded: “‘ok…ABCDEFG…uncle Dwayne, I can read’!”
And 70-year-old Edwin Anderson, who answered the door when The Post knocked, was first hired by the agency in 1999 and served as a clerk until he left in 2015.
Since then, he’s been brought back as a poll worker in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 elections, records show.
Edwin declined to identify himself when he answered the door Monday night but confirmed he was a relative of Jonathan Anderson and Latrice Walker and that he works for the Board of Elections.
A young woman then interrupted and Anderson reversed his story. The Post confirmed his identity through photographs, social media postings and public records.
“That be the case, they share a child, but there’s not a family by any measure,” said Walker’s spokesman Hank Sheinkopf.
“She is not related to the other people involved,” he claimed. “They are Republicans. She would in no way assist Republicans.”
Neither Walker nor Sheinkopf would answer questions about the Facebook or Twitter postings that mention familial connections.
The revelations of close ties between Walker and the embattled agency come just a day after the powerful lawmaker held an invitation-only hearing Monday, where prominent critics of New York’s ranked-choice voting renewed their case against the switchover.
The hearing’s focus came in spite of the BOE’s own admission the error was caused by a staffer who failed to properly clear sample ballots from a test run of the new ranked-choice voting computer tabulation system — and was not a result of the RCV switchover.
“Let us be clear: RCV was not the problem, rather a human error that could have been avoided,” the agency said in a statement released in the aftermath of the screwup.
Walker’s hearing prominently featured a key booster of legislation to repeal ranked-choice voting in the City Council, Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-Queens), who appeared in the second panel of the day. His bill has just five sponsors among the body’s 51 members.
Another prominent critic, Hazel Dukes, the head of the New York chapter of the NAACP, was set to appear in the third panel.
The good government groups that backed passage of ranked-choice voting in the 2019 charter election were consigned to the fifth set of speakers that day, according to the speaker’s list.
BOE officials did not appear at the hearing. A BOE spokeswoman said Monday the agency had insufficient time to prepare after receiving an invitation to testify just five days beforehand — even though the hearing was announced two weeks in advance.
Under the state constitution, the BOE is run by appointees from the county Democratic and Republican parties.
It’s a setup that has made the agency virtually immune to repeated calls for reform and turned the agency into a place where the friends, relatives and former staffers of politicians often find employment or side gigs.
Reformers and good government groups — many of whom backed the changeover to ranked-choice voting — renewed their calls for state lawmakers to overhaul the BOE following the latest fiasco.
They found an ally in lawmakers in the state Senate, where Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Westchester) promised hearings and a reform package.
However, the calls received a far more circumspect response from the Assembly, which is run by Speaker Carl Heastie, whose former intern is now the chairman of the Bronx Democratic Party and once ran the organization himself.
The BOE spokeswoman declined to comment when asked about Walker and the Andersons.