Juan Ardila, the Queens assemblymember who has been accused by two women of sexual assault and refused to step down from office, has come under fire for posting photos of himself at a community event without the permission of the attendees and the organizers.
Ardila attended an Earth Day gardening event in Long Island City last week and posted photos of himself with several of the participants at the Smiling Hogshead Ranch on Instagram. According to attendees, he was not invited but showed up.
The assemblymember and his staff circulated among the gardeners and took photos, which were subsequently posted on the lawmaker’s Instagram.
“I had a great time spending #earthday with my team at @smilinghogsheadranch in #LIC,” one post reads, with photos of attendees.
One photo included Frank Wu, a Community Board 2 member and president of the Court Square Civic Association, who was at the event with his young son. Wu requested Ardila to delete the post when he saw it.
“I asked him [to take it down]…because people might assume that I am condoning or approving or supporting him,” Wu said. “There have been some bad things reported, unacceptable things. I didn’t consent to have my photo taken.”
Ardila’s staff did take it down, although it had been up for more than a day.
Ardila, who first took office in January after winning the 37th District assembly seat vacated by the now-retired Catherine Nolan last year, has been accused by two women of sexual assault that allegedly took place at a party in October 2015.
The accusations were made public in March when one of the victims reached out to local media—including the Queens Post—and said that Ardila “got physical” with her – and was “touching her” — while she was drunk on a couch at the party. Another woman at the same party has also accused him of groping her.
Ardila apologized for his behavior in a statement shortly after the accusations were made public.
“I fully take responsibility for my actions…and I am interested in and eager for a restorative justice-centered process, so that we can heal and repair the damage done.”
Restorative justice??? That's what he's banking on? No wonder all those fauxgressives like that policy.
Why doesn't the Assembly Person try to photobomb the latest Transportation Alternatives and Riders Alliance rallies like he used to? Bet it's because their mega-moneyed donors have ghosted him after they pretty much platformed and elected him.