City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) was caught on video in Auburndale last month giving an expletive-laced tongue lashing to a car shop, but instead of letting the incident fade quietly into the past, he has worn it as a badge of honor at subsequent public appearances.
“I’m not f---ing joking,” Halloran can be heard saying as a car alarm sounds in the background at the Star Nissan repair shop on 172nd Street. “Either these doors stay closed, top to bottom, all the f---ing time, or we’re going to have a problem! This is the last time we have this conversation!”
The video was posted on the Internet and covered in news reports, but Halloran has posted it himself and referred to it during later news conferences and meetings.
On Oct. 31, Halloran posted the video and an analysis of the footage on Facebook. After pointing out the noisy car alarms captured by the camera, he ended his post with an assessment of the videographer and other employees at the shop: “You F*cking morons.”
That same day, Halloran spoke at a news conference in Bayside. He stopped with a smirk several times to assure the crowd he was not going to swear.
Two days later at a Community Education Council District 25 meeting, after sternly addressing a city official, Halloran again paused and turned to the crowd.
“And I didn’t curse, notice, in case anyone’s wondering,” he said to chuckles from the audience.
While the councilman appears to enjoy the media attention, Halloran said he keeps bringing the incident up to let constituents know they can approach him about it.
“A lot of people are on edge about it,” he said. “And I make light of it because I don’t want people to think that they need to be careful about how they talk to me about the issue ... I’m still a guy from the neighborhood,” he said.
Halloran was raised in his district, has owned a business, put himself through school and has never been anyone’s “political lackey,” which he said allows him to offer sometimes blunt assessments other politicians would not.
“I got a lot of, ‘Atta boy’ and, ‘Wish you were my councilman’ kind of stuff. Obviously from the Republican delegation,” he said of his fellow legislators. “But I got a lot of kudos from Democratic colleagues as well, many who are fed up with some of the nonsense they have to deal with on these same issues.”
Halloran has made no apologies for his profanity and said that he has mostly been getting pats on the back from constituents, too.
“Some of my sensitive older constituents are not comfortable with me using profanity,” he said. “But they all simultaneously praised the sentiment.”
The string of profanities came after what Halloran called two years of attempts to deal diplomatically with the repair shop, which he said had not made good on repeated promises to curb noise and traffic issues caused by the shop.
He had given the shop until Tuesday to come through with improvements like automatic closing doors and sound proofing, but the shop did not comply and the councilman scheduled a Monday news conference with other elected officials to discuss how he will proceed in dealing with the business.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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