Saturday, May 27, 2006

Downfall of a Young and Ambitious Assemblyman Stuns His Constituents

For Rockland County, Ryan S. Karben was nothing less than a political dynamo. He was appointed to the planning board in the Town of Ramapo at age 18. In 2002, he had already served two terms in the County Legislature when he won a State Assembly seat at 28, becoming the youngest state lawmaker in New York.

Described variously as ambitious, energetic, smart and ubiquitous, Mr. Karben, a Democrat, stood out for more than his youth, however. "He was a shining star," said Nicole Doliner, secretary of the Clarkstown Democratic Committee in Rockland. "He was very inspiring. He would give a speech and you would say, 'Wow, let's go.' He really believed what he said."

But his rising political fortunes came crashing down a week ago when he abruptly resigned from the Assembly, saying only that he wanted to spend more time with his wife and their three young daughters.

It did not take long for the back story to emerge. According to several Assembly officials who were briefed on the matter, Mr. Karben quit his post after being confronted with allegations that he brought three Assembly interns to a home he owns in Albany and watched pornography with them there.

Rather than face an investigation, which could include public censure, Mr. Karben chose to step down, the officials said.

Eileen Larrabee, a spokeswoman for the Assembly, said she could neither confirm nor deny that a complaint had been filed against Mr. Karben, who would not comment for this article.

His political fall apparently brought his law career down with it, at least for now. The firm in Spring Valley where Mr. Karben, a Columbia Law School graduate, had been a partner for three years wasted no time in removing his name from the lobby directory. Howard M. Gurock, a partner, confirmed that Mr. Karben's employment was terminated, but he declined to elaborate.


This article made me laugh. The guy is Herman a/k/a Mechel Oberlander from Williamsburg. He is a multi-millionair hungarian businessman. Lo and behold he claimed to the town of Ramapo that he is a rabbi and therefore, entitled to a tax exemption. Apparantely, they didn't buy it.







Any thought that he could re-enter politics is scary...what a pig...he will never change...


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