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Stabile’s lawyer calls for help from state

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A lawyer for City Councilman Alfonso Stabile (R-Ozone Park) has asked State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to appoint a special prosecutor to stop what he called the “political lynching” of the Queens Republican accused by parents of misusing Little League funds.

Bruce Baron, Stabile’s lawyer, said his office hand-delivered the request.

Parents of the Ozone-Howard Little League have charged that the councilman mishandled funds belonging to the league, which he headed as president for more than 20 years until he resigned in May.

The Ozone-Howard league, with 63 teams, is one of the largest in the country, collecting an estimated $130,000 in registration fees each year. The Queens district attorney is looking into the allegations.

Baron asked Spitzer to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the councilman’s alleged wrongdoing. In doing so, Baron described the request as “unprecedented and unorthodox.”

Spitzer’s office declined, saying the attorney general did not have the authority to appoint a special prosecutor, said Brad Maione, a spokesman.

“That’s the governor’s role,” Maione said.

Neither the councilman nor his chief of staff returned phone calls seeking comment by press time.

The Queens district attorney’s office said it had received a letter from Councilwoman Julia Harrison (D-Flushing) asking for an inquiry into the allegations that Stabile mishandled league funds.

“We have agreed to do that,” said Mary de Bourbon, a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney.

Stabile, who is seeking to replace Claire Shulman as borough president on the Republican line, stepped down as Little League president in May and cited family health problems. The councilman had also suffered eye trouble in recent months.

Soon after his resignation, The Forum, a weekly newspaper in southwestern Queens published by Patricia Adams — Stabile’s former press secretary — ran a series of articles addressing allegations of League impropriety by Stabile.

“Many sources approached the paper and we did some investigation and the story unfolded,” Adams told the TimesLedger.

Stabile’s attorney suggested in a statement distributed to the news media that a state prosecutor could clear his client’s name and “suffocate the origin of rumor and innuendo,” Baron said.

“An independent would be able to stop this political lynching before it destroys a man’s life, family and well-earned fine reputation,” Baron said.

Stabile is serving his second term in the Council.

The City Council, which announced it would hold an ethics investigation into the allegations against Stabile, said it would delay its own proceedings until District Attorney Richard Brown concluded his investigation.

“That’s ordered by the DA. We got a stand-down letter asking us to delay any formal hearing,” said Jake Lynn, a council spokesman. “We get the feeling that it’ll be soon, but there was no time frame.”

Reach reporter Jennifer Warren by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 155.

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