Sections

Singh campaign photo upsets Floral Park priest

Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

A Floral Park priest got hot under the collar after a photograph of him with Swaranjit Singh, a candidate for the City Council, appeared in Singh’s campaign literature.

Singh, who is running for the seat currently held by Councilman David Weprin (D-Hollis), used a photo with him, state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) and Monsignor Raymond Chapetto, pastor at Our Lady of the Snows Church, in a recent campaign mailing.

In the photo, taken at a non-political community meeting Singh helped organize to bring together South Asians and whites in the Council district, Chapetto is talking to Singh, but his priest’s collar is hard to see. Padavan is in the background of the shot, but clearly visible.

A parishioner asked Chapetto in the church’s newsletter if the photo in the mailing meant the priest was endorsing Singh.

“Absolutely not!” Chapetto responded. “I too received the same card in the mail. I was quite upset to see it for several reasons.”

“The picture has been misused to give the impression that I am publicly supporting a particular candidate for the City Council’s election. That is not possible for me to do,” the priest said.

The Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens forbids clergy from making political endorsements.

Chapetto could not be reached for comment.

Singh said the photo was not meant to imply he had Chapetto’s endorsement.

“It was not meant that way,” he said. “I have used so many pictures of different people, I had no idea what I was doing.”

Singh said he met with Chapetto for 20 minutes and smoothed the situation over.

“I promised him that I will take an ad in the newspaper and make a statement that I didn’t use [the photo] with his permission,” he said.

Chapetto said he called Padavan “and asked his advice on counsel on this matter.”

“There are legal consequences and I am trying to get the proper advice before any actions are taken,” he said.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

Posted 6:35 pm, October 10, 2011
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group