Campaign Confidential

Hells Angels lawyer goes to bat for Marjorie Velázquez

The City Council member didn’t roll out the red carpet, but is getting some help from the Bronx Democratic Party.

The Hells Angels moved into the Bronx with the help of an influential lawyer.

The Hells Angels moved into the Bronx with the help of an influential lawyer. Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images

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In 2020, New York City Council Member Marjorie Velázquez accused then-opponent Mark Gjonaj of opening the East Bronx to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, since his part-time legal adviser Edmond Pryor was the lawyer for the club when they bought a new headquarters in Throggs Neck. “How do you roll out a red carpet welcome to the Hells Angels?” Velázquez told the Daily News. Pryor ended up resigning, worried he’d reflect poorly on Gjonaj. But now, Pryor is rolling out the red carpet for Velázquez, or at least trying. He was the one who filed petition challenges against all three Democrats vying to challenge Velázquez in District 13, Irene Estrada, John Perez and Bernadette Ferrara. He even tried to get Kristy Marmorato off the Conservative Party line. It wasn’t successful – none of them got kicked off – but it would have been a real boost for Velázquez if they did. Pryor, who didn’t return a request for comment, didn’t work directly for Velázquez – insiders said he was dispatched by the Bronx Democratic Party. Pryor has previously worked with longtime county lawyer Stanley Schlein, and Pryor’s law firm also won the case to get former Council Member Andy King off the ballot to help Council Member Kevin Riley, a Bronx Democratic Party favorite.

“We’re disappointed but not surprised by the continued lies and mudslinging from our opponents,” Velázquez campaign spokesperson Aaron Hecht said as part of a longer emailed statement adding that “the Councilmember never asked this individual to challenge anything, and she has been consistent and vocal in her opposition to the Hells Angels having a headquarters in her district.”