America’s Top Heathen

Odin himself might have had a hard time predicting Dan Halloran’s strange career on New York’s City Council

Then there were the three workers, whom Halloran wouldn’t name. According to the report:

“Mr. Halloran stated that he wanted to first inform the witnesses that he . . . was going to provide DOI with their names. Later the same week, Mr. Halloran was again asked for the employee names, he stated, variously, that he only had the first names of the Sanitation workers and had been making unsuccessful efforts to contact them; that there were ‘friendships’ involved with the DOT employees; and ultimately with respect to the three Sanitation workers, he asserted those communications were ‘attorney-client’ privileged. Thus, Mr. Halloran refused to give DOI the names of the three DSNY employees because he stated the City Sanitation employees were seeking legal advice from him. Although Mr. Halloran asserted privilege, he had already provided the media with a description in substance of what the Sanitation and DOT witnesses had said to him.”

And, the report notes, “Mr. Halloran did not assert attorney-client privilege with respect to the two DOT supervisors.”

In a footnote, the report says: “DOI’s General Counsel discussed with Mr. Halloran the fact that the City’s Conflicts of Interest Law prohibits a public servant from ‘engag[ing] in any business, transaction or private employment, or hav[ing] any financial or other private interest, direct or indirect which is in conflict with the proper discharge of his or her official duties.’”

Halloran has also had to appear at an ongoing federal grand jury, which might yet be his biggest problem. But the footnote brings us to an interesting point: Halloran knows he can’t assert attorney-client privilege. The Voice saw him saying on the stump that he wouldn’t practice law after he became a councilmember exactly to avoid conflicts of interest with his city and private work.

Halloran was driving through Whitestone last year when he saw traffic cop Daniel Chu speed through a red light with his sirens on. Halloran followed Chu, knowing, he told the Daily News, “traffic agents don’t have no emergency they have to run to.” Halloran followed Chu to a Dunkin’ Donuts, where the cop was illegally parked, and confronted the officer, who had purchased a Coolatta. Chu wrote Halloran a ticket for parking illegally in a crosswalk. Halloran filmed their exchange on his phone and posted it on YouTube.

It was a strange story, the kind that has become typically Halloran: full of bluster, bullying, yelling, and over-the-top theatrics. It played into the Asian-white tension that simmered during his campaign. But, ultimately, it vindicated him. Officer Chu was later identified as “Big Bad Dan” by some in his neighborhood. After Halloran brought attention to him, others came forward with their stories of dealing with the unruly cop. The NYPD took away Chu’s car, reassigned him to foot patrol, and docked some vacation pay. (Chu is now suing Halloran for $6 million and saying that the councilman told him: “Go ahead and give me a fucking ticket. I know the police commissioner and your boss. . . .When you lose this job, you can go back to your old job, delivering Chinese food.”)

Another similarly charged incident occurred just last month. Halloran went to Star Nissan, an auto body shop in Flushing, to complain about the noise of the place because it would not keep its bay doors closed.

He did so in his usual calm manner, telling employees, “I’ll park every fucking city agency down here for the rest of fucking two years.” He added: “I’m not fucking joking. Either these doors stay closed, top to bottom, all the fucking time, or we’re gonna have a problem!” He then stormed off. Again, the exchange was caught on video.

The Daily News wrote, “The Department of Environmental Protection says it has gotten four noise complaints about the repair shop in the last two years—one of which resulted in a $350 fine.” In the video, Halloran looks like a bully and a tad intimidating for a councilman. Still, even if he was rough about it, he did have a point.

On his Facebook page, Halloran writes about the auto body shop and the “oblivious” News reporter: “The car alarms at Nissan were blaring in the background the WHOLE time I am ranting about the noise. . . .the very fact that you can barely hear me screaming about the noise over the air tools, car alarms, is priceless. . . .thank you for PROVING my point by giving us this video. . . .you just ‘won the case’. . . .Quad Erat Demonstrata. . . .You F*cking morons.”

“He always thinks he’s the smartest man in the room,” says one of his former followers. “Sometimes he is. But his thinking that can get in the way.”

He certainly isn’t afraid to show his contempt for his fellow New Yorkers. When he was valiantly addressing the anti-mosque 9/11 group, he ended his speech: “There are some of us who will never forget that day and who will never give up even the sinking ship of the City of New York because if there is one good person left, the city should get spared. I think somebody said that once in history.” (He actually seemed to be riffing on Genesis, not history so much. More pandering to monotheists.)

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