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Bronx Week: Voters Wonder If Borough's Corruption Scandals Will Lead To Political Changes

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Political corruption has left its mark on state and local politics this year, and the Bronx is no exception. In the final part of her Bronx Week series, borough reporter Erin Clarke takes a look at the scandals there and how they've affected voters. She filed the following report.

In 2013, Bronx residents saw Democratic Assemblyman Nelson Castro resign for alleged corruption that occurred before he took office. Later, he pleaded guilty to making false statements to federal officials.

Democratic Assemblyman Eric Stevenson was also arrested for allegedly accepting thousands of dollars in a scheme to create an adult day care monopoly in the borough.

Accusations were leveled at Republicans as well. The borough's party chairman, Jay Savino, was arrested for allegedly taking bribes to get a Democrat in the Republican primary for mayor.

They're trends that don't sit well with voters.

"They should get a pink slip because if it was anybody else in the private sector, they would get fired," said one person.

In an effort to change that, both parties are trying to move forward with new leadership. The Bronx County Republican Committee elected a new chair, John Greaney.

Democrats said that their record won't be spoiled by a few bad apples.

"We're optimistic that we'll have new leadership in that role that will pick up the mantle and run and work in conjunction with the rest of the elected officials in the Bronx," said Patrick Jenkins, a Bronx Democratic County Committee consultant. "We won't let one or two incidences slow us down on the progress that's being made,"

Is it that easy, though? And are voters, regardless of their party affiliation, willing to forgive and now trust their politicians?

"No, I don't feel very trusting," said one person.

"You vote for these people and then you have trust in them, and you find out they're corrupt and things like that, and it makes them think they're doing things right, but they're not doing anything right," said another.

In a borough usually ranked lowest in voter turnout, will that distaste translate to more informed voters at the polls?

"I think people just go in and push buttons and leave," said one person.

"I don't think people in the Bronx pay attention to the reasoning behind politics," said another.

So, at least until November 5, residents are left wondering if anything will really change.

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