2004-08-18 / Features

Maltese Heads Diverse Group Of Delegates To GOP Convention

by john toscano


Queens Republican Party Chairman state Senator Serphin Maltese will lead a borough delegation of nine delegates and eight alternates to the party’s national convention at Madison Square Garden when it’s gaveled into session 12 days from today to renominate President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for a second term.

Maltese boasts that the Queens representatives at the August 30 - September 2 extravaganza "represent the most diversified county in America" judged by sex, race and ethnic background. They come from a borough of more than 2 million residents, which is "more residents than 17 states and more Republicans than 15 counties in New York state," Maltese points out.

A veteran legislator, Maltese, a Middle Village resident, has led the borough GOP for about a decade. He’s a Korean War veteran and a former Conservative Party state chairman. He’s part of the group from the 9th Congressional District.

The other delegates are Meilin Tan, of Flushing and Philip Ragusa, of Whitestone, from the 5th Congressional District (CD); Katherine A. James and Alma T. Whittaker of Jamaica, and Morris Lee of St. Albans (6th CD); Edward T. Coyne, Woodside (7th CD); Maltese and Marguerite Adams (9th CD), and Lauren M. Cacioppo, Maspeth (12th CD).


State Senator Serphin Maltese at left. Philip Ragusa above. Councilmember Denis Gallagher at right.State Senator Serphin Maltese at left. Philip Ragusa above. Councilmember Denis Gallagher at right.

The alternate delegates are: Saida Rodriquez-Tabone, Bayside (5th CD); Kim Petersen, South Ozone Park and Meagan E. Costello, Briarwood (6th CD) and Leroy Carmichael, Jamaica (7th CD), Stephen H. Weiner, Long Island City (9th CD) Dennis Gallagher, Middle Village, and Marjorie Jiminez and Stephanie Zgaljic, Long Island City (14th CD).

The 5th CD alternate is Saida Rodriguez-Tabone, who recently moved with her husband Vincent from Astoria to Bayside.

Meilin Tan came to the United States from China at age 20 and is a real estate broker. She’s a county Republican vice chair, a local district leader in the 22nd AD and a candidate for the Assembly. Tan is also on the Board of Directors of the Queens Overall Economic Development Corporation.

Ragusa is a Certified Public Accountant and longtime civic leader in the Whitestone/Beechhurst area.


Long active in the party, he also serves as a vice chair in the county organization. He recently ran and lost a City Council bid.

Mrs. Tabone, a Hispanic American has two daughters and is an assistant principal at Forest Hills H.S.

The 6th CD in Southeast Queens provides the largest part of the delegation, with three delegates and three alternates.

Katherine A. James and Alma T. Whittaker, both delegates, hail from Jamaica. Morris R. Lee from St. Albans rounds out the trio. All are African-Americans.

James, a grandmother, is the highest ranked Republican woman official, serving as deputy chief of the Queens Board of Elections. She’s also a county GOP vice chair a 32nd AD district leader and an officer in the Women’s Republican Club of Queens.

Whittaker, a retired social worker, recently received the Queens Republican Party Founders Award as a party co-founder. She’s also active with the NAACP and Mary Immaculate Hospital.

Lee is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and Chief Executive Officer of the Council for Airport Opportunities. He’s a county Republican vice chairman and 33rd AD district leader.

The 6th CD alternates are Kim Petersen of South Ozone Park, Meagan E. Costello of Briarwood and Leroy Carmichael of Jamaica.

Petersen, currently chief of staff to City Councilmember Dennis Gallagher and 31st AD district leader, is an attorney who formerly worked in the Queens District Attorney’s office.

Costello, recently married, a St. John’s Law School alumna, is employed in a Manhattan law firm and is the 25th AD GOP district leader.

Carmichael is Chief Executive Officer of the Bronx Psychiatric Center, president of his own firm and 32nd AD district leader.

Longtime Woodside Republican leader Edward T. Coyne is the 7th CD delegate. Coyne is the county organization’s first vice chair, 30th AD district leader and is active in the Woodside Community Council.

The 7th CD alternate delegate is Stephen H. Weiner from Long Island City. A Yale and Columbia Law School grad, he was editor of the Columbia Law Review. He’s in private practice and is the Queens Commissioner of the Board of Elections, as well as a county organization vice chair. Weiner serves as president of Young Israel of Sunnyside, and is an arbiter of the New York Stock Exchange and member of the National Association of Security Dealers.

Serving alongside Maltese in the 9th CD delegation is delegate Marguerite Adams of Glendale. Councilmember Dennis Gallagher of Middle Village is also an alternate delegate.

Adams serves as the Queens GOP executive vice chair and is the longtime leader of the 28th AD. She’s regarded as the grand dame of the Queens GOP and has an impressive record as a community activist with the Glenridge Senior Center in Glendale.

Gallagher, now serving his third year in the City Council representing 30th district, is a past president of the Midville Civic Association, member of the Juniper Park Civic Association, Glendale Kiwanis and the Middle Village Property Owners and Residents Association. Gallagher is also a CYO coach with the St. Margaret’s Church sports program.

A second 9th CD alternate delegate is Marjorie Jiminez of Rego Park. She serves as public relations liaison for Christ the King Regional H.S. in Middle Village and as president of the Queens County Young Republicans and assistant sergeant at arms for the Queens Republican Party organization.

Completing the Queens delegation to the Republican presidential convention are Lauren Cacioppo from Maspeth, the 12th CD delegate, and Stephanie Zgaljic, from Long Island City, the 14th CD alternate delegate.

Cacioppo, chief of staff to Maltese, is in her third year at CUNY School of Law. She is also president of the Queens Women’s Republican Club, executive director and treasurer of the county Republican organization, on the board of directors of Italian Charities of America, and the Cav. Peter Cardella Senior Center.

Zgaljic is currently the 36th AD Republican leader in Astoria and is active in the Frank Kenna Republican Club.

Homeless Man Charged In Murder Of Elmhurst Grandmother

A 25-year-old homeless man has been charged with murder in the slaying of an 88-year-old grandmother who died after a burglary and robbery August 6 at her Elmhurst residence. Robert Marshall, no known address or occupation, has been charged with murder in the second degree and robbery and burglary in the first degree and faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said that according to the charges, on August 6, 2004 inside 83-01 Cornish Ave., Elmhurst, Marshall acted with depraved indifference to human life during a burglary and robbery to cause the death of Antoinette Russo, a grandmother. "According to the charges, the defendant unlawfully entered the defenseless 88-year-old victim’s home, tied her hands behind her back and bound her feet, placed a mattress over her and left her for dead," Brown said. Marshall’s actions, he added were "callous and depraved."

Marshall was taken into custody August 10 after an investigation by New York City Police Department Detectives assigned to the Queens Homicide Task Force and the 110th Precinct Detective Squad in Elmhurst. He was held pending arraignment in Queens Criminal Court.

It should be noted that criminal charges are merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.


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