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Cipriani Aide Gone

Does it have something to do with pressure he's accused of putting on the SLA regarding Cipriani's liquor license?


Murder at Deutsche Bank?

• The deaths of two firefighters in the Deutsche Bank blaze this weekend may be classified as homicides — and it could be negligent contractors, who disabled a critical standpipe, and chain-smoking Eastern European immigrants, who started the fire, who are accused of murdering them. [NYP]


Bloomberg Goes for Mexican

• The mayor is visiting Tepoztlán, Mexico — the site of the slightly kooky, yet reportedly very effective, cash-for-good-behavior program that he's hoping to implement here. Hey, if it's good for Tepoztlán …NYT] • NYU Student Council president Meredith Dolgin, 21, is in hot water for (a) tampering with elections, (b) using school funds for a personal trip, and (c) getting her own grandmother a paid speaking engagement at the university. [NYP] • We may get to read more by former journalist Peter Braunstein. His journal has been deemed admissible at his trial, and it reportedly contains detailed plans for the costumed kidnapping and assault that made him infamous. [NYDN] • It's not all luxury condos for Brooklyn: A blockwide affordable-housing complex will be built in Fort Greene, the city says. More than 300 apartments of the 434 total units will be subsidized. [amNY] • And, here's an idea how to save Little Italy: high-end Italian boutiques! A neighborhood activist, working with the Medici Foundation, wants Armani, Fendi, et al, to give Mulberry a "Little Milan" tinge. Too bad they're all five blocks away, on West Broadway. [MetroNY]


So Much for the Hill-Rupe Alliance

• Hillary stumps in Iowa — hey, the caucus is only twelve months away — and the Post is already scandalized. See, Hillary rolled her eyes when asked if she can handle "evil men" — and we all know what that means. [NYP] • Remember Efrain Gonzalez, the Albany politician who funneled children's-charity funds into vacation houses and custom cigars? Turns out Gonzalez is, at least, as cruel to his own children as to others': He has "virtually abandoned" his disabled son, an ex-wife says. [NYDN] • Charles and Camilla's itinerary for the weekend New York visit included watching Harlem kids perform Shakespeare, picking up an environmental award from Al Gore, and getting photographed shooting hoops (one of the two princely shots went in). [WABC] • The new contract between public-school teachers and the city had an interesting side effect: Teachers will now be making more than principals, who aren't part of the same union. The latter aren't happy (especially now that Bloomberg wants to give them more authority). [NYT] • And thousands ran the "Idiotarod" from Greenpoint to Queens on Saturday — a bizarro race wherein costumed participants, tied to shopping carts, throw edibles at each other. The official winner is not yet known, so we'll just go ahead and call it for Hillary. [amNY]


Albany Loses One Bad Guy, Gains Another

Like a good soap opera or kung-fu movie, New York politics never lacks for a villain: Once one is vanquished, another steps to the plate. Alan Hevesi exiting stage left and taking the wife-chauffeuring plotline with him? No problem. Hello, Joe Bruno and stories of shady real-estate deals, backroom tit-for-tats, private jets, stocks, and ponies. Bruno is the State Senate majority leader, one of the three guys who runs Albany, and the top Republican in the state (behind the packing-his-boxers George Pataki). Federal subpoenas are now flying as investigators look into Bruno's friendship with one Jared Abbruzzese. An Abbruzzese company is vying to control the state's thoroughbred racing — a huge matter in which Bruno will have a major say. And there seems to be some doubt about Bruno's objectivity in approving the contract, considering that (a) Bruno already gave another Abbruzzese business $500,000 in state funds, (b) Bruno's real-estate company sold Abbruzzese's wife a housing lot for a pittance, (c) Abbruzzese gave $118,000 to Bruno's campaign committeee, and (d) Bruno had been known to use Abbruzzese's private jet. Oh, and then there's this: Today's Times notes that records show Bruno has a habit of buying stock in companies that shortly thereafter get state contracts. The ever-tactful Gray Lady calls it a "broad array of personal financial interests, several of which have intersected with his activities … in the State Legislature." Intersected? It sounds to us like they're quite parallel. Federal Inquiry Focuses on 2 Bruno Firms [NYT]