Dan Halloran, the Irish American city councilman currently under indictment in an alleged plot to rig the mayoral race, may lose his seat thanks to an unrelated indiscretion.
Halloran, 41, a Queens Republican, lost his marriage when an affair with a 21 year co-ed staffer half his age came to light. According to the New York Post, his 2010-2011 romance with Meaghan Mapes, his former $30,000-a-year deputy chief of staff, ended his marriage to his wife Cynthia, who filed for divorce in 2011.
Now Halloran is allegedly seeing 23-year-old Denise Batista, an intern in his council office. Batista was reportedly seen covering her face at Halloran’s Flushing home when FBI agents led him out in handcuffs during his predawn arrest on April 2, when he was charged in state Senator Malcolm Smith's alleged plot to bribe his way onto the Republican mayoral ticket.
But now Halloran could be hit with disorderly conduct sanctions or even dismissal if it's found he violated the council's ethics policy with Batista or a previous deputy chief of staff with whom he reportedly had a relationship.
Batista, a student at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, allegedly began her relationship with Halloran while she was working for him, an 'absolute no-no' under city and council rules. Batista has since quit her intern job.
But now City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has announced she plans to launch an ethics probe into Halloran’s extracurricular activities with the two staffers.
'The council takes potential sexual harassment and discrimination very seriously,' Quinn spokesman Jamie McShane told the Post. 'Speaker Quinn will immediately refer this to the council’s Standards and Ethics Committee.'
Mapes, who moved on to attend law school in Virginia last year, was no longer present in Halloran’s office when Batista arrived, the Post reported.
Last fall it became clear to staffers that Batista was dating her boss.
'There was this 'here we go again' feeling among staff,' a source told the Post. 'Halloran had her resign so it wouldn’t be a problem anymore,' the Post reported.
Halloran isn’t hiding his relationship status, sources say. He has posted pictures of Batista on Facebook and in March he reportedly changed his status on the site from 'it’s complicated' to 'in a relationship.'
On April 23 Halloran pleaded not guilty in the alleged bribery scheme to get Senator Smith on the city's mayoral primary ballot for the GOP. He could face up to 45 years behind bars if convicted. Meanwhile he has been stripped of his council committee posts, but he has said he has no plans to resign.