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crimes and misdemeanors

City Council Spokesman Fired for Past Political Arson

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19:  New York City Council Members Jumaane Williams (left) and Ydanis Rodriguez speak at a news conference and rally to denounce what they say is New York Police Department's excessive use of force against Occupy Wall Street protesters at Zuccotti Park on March 19, 2012 in New York City. Marking the movement's six month anniversary, police officers arrested dozens of protesters while breaking up an Occupy Wall Street rally on Saturday evening. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Rodriguez.

An aide to City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez has been fired after the New York Post reported that he served time in federal prison for tossing a burning rag into an empty Army recruitment office in protest of the Iraq War. David Segal, who has been Rodriguez's spokesman since last March, did six months in jail and four months on house arrest for the crime he committed at age 19, but said he indicated on his job application that he had a past conviction. "He is a very hardworking person during the time that he's been in my office," Rodriguez told Policker today. "I didn't know about any crime that he did or that he spent time in jail in the past and he's being relieved from my staff."

Segal's crime was reported in the New York Times when it occurred, but was only tied to his new life in government by the Post today. (The tabloid is now gloating about getting a "terrorist" canned.)

"I've found other ways that I think I can give back to society and advocate for working and middle class people, specifically when it comes to housing or jobs and education in the city," said Segal. "I think I've added something positive to the city while I've been doing that. I apologize to anybody who is disappointed in me in light of all this and to anyone who disagrees with my past."

And just in case he has any radical anger left underneath that acceptance, Council Minority Leader James Oddo is on watch, telling the Post, "If I see anything ablaze in his hands in or around City Hall, he will have a hell of a lot more to worry about than jail."

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Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images