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Controversial New CB9 District Manager's Selection Challenged in Court

By Rachel Holliday Smith | August 5, 2016 3:49pm | Updated on August 8, 2016 8:31am
 Local activist Alicia Boyd is fighting the hiring of Carmen Martinez as district manager of Community Board 9.
Local activist Alicia Boyd is fighting the hiring of Carmen Martinez as district manager of Community Board 9.
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DNAinfo/Rachel Holliday Smith

CROWN HEIGHTS — A bid to prevent a controversial pick for district manager at Community Board 9 has taken a step forward after a judge approved a legal challenge by a local activist group, court documents show.

Alicia Boyd of Movement to Protect the People — who has long been a thorn in the side of CB9 — filed the challenge Tuesday objecting to the hiring of Carmen Martinez to fill the board’s top administrative job, a full-time position that CB9 sources say comes with a six-figure salary.

CB9 has been without a district manager since October of 2015, when the board removed former district manager Pearl Miles from the position for “a longstanding pattern of misconduct" following a year-long fight in the district over a possible rezoning.

Longtime area resident Martinez was chosen as the candidate for the district manager role in late June after a contentious search process that some on the board say was affected by Borough President Eric Adams’ office.

Those involved with the process also had concerns with Martinez’s spotty job history; she was forced out of a job at the comptroller’s office in 2014 for misusing city time, according to Conflict of Interest Board records.

Boyd filed the challenge to CB9 the same day the board met to discuss Martinez’s salary and to finalize her job offer.

The court action by Boyd, a frequent agitator of the board and founder of the protest group MTOPP, would require the board to scrap its hiring of Martinez and re-do the search for a district manager with rules “which follow the law,” the filing says.

The district manager position has not yet been formally offered to Martinez, but will be soon, according to CB9 chairman Demetrius Lawrence. He declined to comment on Boyd’s challenge but said he does not expect it to affect the hiring process.

A spokesman from the city’s law department said they were reviewing the challenge.

The board must reply to the court challenge by August 18, according to the filing accepted by Judge Richard Velasquez in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Wednesday.