Naomi Rivera, under investigation, lands union endorsement

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The front page of of the New York Post this morning reported that Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera is being investigated by the state attorney general and Bronx district attorney for allegedly misappropriating state funds.

This afternoon, Rivera got some good news.

The Teamsters Joint Council 16 announced its endorsements for this year's state legislative races, and Rivera is among the union's chosen candidates.

A spokesman for the union, Mike McKeon, said the Rivera endorsement was made yesterday, after the first couple of Post stories about alleged wrongdoing by Rivera, but before today's news of the two investigations.

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The spokesman, Mike McKeon, said the union "takes the allegations seriously," but "at this point they're only accusations, and that doesn't wipe way her track record in elected office." He said if the allegations develop into "something more than allegations," the union would reserve the right to reconsider their support, but until then, the endorsement stands.

Rivera, whose brother and father are also influential elected officials in the Bronx, has so far managed to hold onto other supporters, like Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and the Bronx Democratic county organization, which has donated to her campaign.

Rivera has $80,000 in her campaign account and is facing three challengers.

Mark Gjonaj, who owns a real estate company and is an unpaid Taxi and Limousine Commissioner, has the support of State Senator Adriano Espaillat, and has $40,000 in the bank.

Adam Bermudez, a former reporter and Democratic operative, is running a shoestring campaign that has yet to start raising money.

And Irene Estrada Rukaj, a parent coordinator who has run for Bronx elected offices in the past, does not currently have an active campaign account registered with the State Board of Elections.