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Politics and Government

Syracuse NAACP against possible U.S. attorney appointment

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Ellen Abbott
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WRVO News File Photo

The Syracuse chapter of the NAACP has concerns about the potential appointment of Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci as a U.S attorney.

Much of the concern from the NAACP toes back almost two years, according to chapter President Linda Brown-Robinson. That’s when three minority-owned contractors that work with Onondaga County sued Antonacci, accusing him of harassment. That lawsuit is still in the courts, and Antonacci is attempting to get it thrown out.

Brown-Robinson says the lawsuit is one of the reasons the NAACP recently sent letters to Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, contending that appointing Antonacci to be U.S. attorney for the Northern District of New York would send a “clear message to the minority community that political connection and gross intolerance take priority over our civil and economic rights.” So far, Brown-Robinson says the group has heard nothing back.

"This letter, while it might not make a difference -- and we sure hope it does -- we had to do it. There was no if, ands, buts or maybes around it. Whether it makes a difference or not, we had to take a stand,” she said.

Brown-Robinson also suggests that Antonacci isn’t qualified for the job. And overall, she’s says the lack of minorities in President Donald Trump’s cabinet is also a point of concern for the local NAACP.

"You could actually be hidden under a rock and see this is not going well for minorities, that he is not making any appointments that are friendly to minority populations," said Brown-Robinson.

In a statement to WRVO News, Antonacci said:

“I stand by our extensive motion to dismiss this lawsuit and reiterate these allegations have no merit. As for the underlying political motivations, I will address those at a later time."