Allegations that New York City Councilmembers Elizabeth Crowley (D-Maspeth) and Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) were campaigning on the day before the September Democratic Party primary on school property have been referred to the Office of Special Investigations of the New York City Department of Education. Information of the referral was provided to Progress Queens by a source. According to Chancellor's Regulation D-130, "no candidate for public office, including an elected official seeking reelection, may visit any Department of Education school building during the 60 calendar days prior to a primary and/or election," except in accordance with some exceptions.
In particular, Chancellor's Regulation D-130 generally prohibits the use of school property for electioneering work during after-school hours. In a prior report, Progress Queens published a photograph showing Councilmember Van Bramer standing next to Councilmember Crowley, who was hiding behind a gentleman. The officials were standing on the playground of Queens P.S. 229. According to information received by Progress Queens, the photograph of Councilmembers Crowley and Van Bramer was taken after children were let out of class on Monday, 11 September. The only exceptions to the general prohibition of after-school use of school property for electioneering work would be for candidate forums, provided, however, that all candidates would have been invited for the forum, or if public officials were engaged in use of public school property in a manner that was directly related to their official public duties and responsibilities.
After publication of the prior report by Progress Queens, a representative of Councilmember Crowley's committee to reelect declined an opportunity to issue a statement to Progress Queens in response to the prior report. Councilmember Van Bramer has not answered prior requests for interviews, and he did not immediately answer a request for comment for this report.