Cronyism Alive & Well In The Bronx As Ruben Diaz, Jr Appoints Daughter of Marlene Cintron To Community Board 4


Bronx politicians play dirty, disgusting tactics and our Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr is no exception as he’s proven to be just another politician from yet another Bronx political dynasty who pretends to be on our side.

Last week, as A. Mychal Johnson was told by the BP that he was not being reappointed to Community Board 1, Diaz bestowed the honor to Desiree Joy Frias, daughter of the executive director of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, Marlene Cintron. Cintron’s office has already granted $3.5 million to FreshDirect along with $1 million by Ruben Diaz, Jr’s office. Does anyone else smell something rotten here?

But it doesn’t end there.

The once beloved BoogieDowner blog is now owned by Desiree Joy Frias as well. When the blog was started by former Bronxites Erin and Lou Cicalese (affectionately known as ErLou in their postings) it was a great voice of the community with a lot of locals engaging in debate on the various issues that affect our borough. A lot of us met through connections on that website but after the Cicaleses transfered the site to Gregory Tsougranis, the quality of the blog took a downward spiral overnight.


Not only did the quality suffer but Tsougranis quickly went on a censoring campaign by deleting comments left and right whenever they weren’t in line with his views – something I have never done on or nor I intend to ever do. Almost immediately, folks stopped commenting on the blog and it quickly faded into obscurity as Tsougranis loyalty to the BP’s office became more and more clear.

Because of that loyalty, Ruben Diaz, Jr once again waved his wand and began endorsing  Gregory Tsougranis to be a film scout for the Bronx. You see, in the Bronx, when you kiss politicians’ asses  suck up to politicians,  doors open up for you. Now, it appears that the BoogieDowner will essentially be a voice for Diaz’s office.

Already the hypocrisy can be easily seen in two of Desiree’s pieces. In one entry she’s heaping praises over the Kingsbridge Armory deal and how, “… the rights and consent of the community must always come first.”

The Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance (KARA),  includes more than 30 community groups. This project has been their passion for months now and to come to an agreement is satisfying.

The community agreement also sets a precendent for future projects. Although economic development is always welcome in The Bronx, the rights and consent of the community must always come first.

But when she writes about FreshDirect, Frias makes absolutely no mention that over 35 Bronx organizations are AGAINST the FreshDirect sweetheart deal and just says:

Judgement was passed today on the lawsuit against FreshDirect’s move to Harlem River Yards. The dismissal came to the satisfaction of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., FreshDirect CEO Jason Ackerman and Marlene Cintron, president of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation; as well as Bronx foodies and busy families across the borough. The

FreshDirect move was a contested one, however many feel that the business will bring much needed economic benefits to the Bronx.

There is also no mention that NYC Comptroller, John C. Liu is against the deal as well but she does mention that the lawsuit was dismissed much to the satisfaction of her mother, Marlene Cintron.

So folks, those are two critical two items you heard here first. Never forget that YOU, each and every Bronxite will ALWAYS come first here and never a politician.

Now what are we going to do about the community boards that are supposed to be filled with our neighbors and colleagues but instead are filled by puppets with strings tied to the Borough President’s office?

Oh and one more thing. BoogieDowner, let’s set the record straight: Erin and Lou Cicalese created a wonderful opportunity for Bronxites to communicate and Gregory Tsougranis destroyed that opportunity almost overnight. It was no longer unbiased. You have an opportunity to be another voice for the Bronx – one without strings to any politician, specifically your mother’s boss.

Facebook Comments
Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.