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Politician Accused of Living Outside District Says It's 'Nobody's Business'

By Gustavo Solis | August 17, 2017 12:07pm
 A complaint submitted to the Board of Elections Tuesday Aug. 16, 2017 accuses District Leader Keith Lilly of not living in the district he represents.
A complaint submitted to the Board of Elections Tuesday Aug. 16, 2017 accuses District Leader Keith Lilly of not living in the district he represents.
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DNAinfo/Gustavo Solis

EAST HARLEM — A Harlem district leader accused of violating state election law for living outside his district says it's nobody's business where he sleeps at night.

Keith Lilly, a longtime political ally of Councilman Bill Perkins, who represents part of the 68th Assembly District was accused in a complaint filed with the city Board of Elections Tuesday of living on the west side of Manhattan.

He's currently running a reelection campaign, but the candidate said his residency is a private matter.

"It's really nobody's business where I sleep," Keith Lilly said. "I could go to my girlfriend's house or my wife's house. That's my personal business."

If the allegation is true, Lilly may not be eligible to hold the office he is campaigning for.

Lilly refused to tell DNAinfo New York where he lives during a phone conversation Wednesday, saying that if people have an issue with it they can express their opinions in the ballot box.

DNAinfo found two campaign finance reports that link Lilly to a West 114th Street address that falls outside the 68th Assembly District.

The first record is an itemized disbursement form from the Federal Election Commission in which Bernie 2016, a campaign committee that supported Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign, paid $970 to a man named Keith Lilly with a listed address of 317 W. 114th St. The payment for “staff reimbursement” was made on April 20, 2016.

“That could be me,” Lilly said when asked about the payment.

The second public document linking Lilly to West 114th Street is a financial disclosure form from the New York State Board of Elections in which the 2017 campaign fund for Perkins paid Lilly $70 in “advanced payments” on Feb. 15, 2017. Lilly’s address is listed as 317 W. 114th St.

Lilly says that his voter registration information makes him eligible to run because he is enrolled in the district he represents.

But state election law says otherwise.

District leaders must, “be enrolled voters of the party residing within the assembly district,” according to the law. Voter registration residency is established by living “at your present address at least 30 days before an election.”

The 68th Assembly District female district leader, Gina Smith, filed the complaint against Lilly this week after she began looking into where he lives while collecting signatures for the race.

The city Board of Elections did not respond to requests for comment.