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City Council Opens Investigation Into Eugene's Residency

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It's been more than a week since the City Council special elections, and neither candidate has been sworn in because of the controversy surrounding a councilman-elect's residency. As NY1’s Molly Kroon reports, the City Council is now opening an investigation to decide if one of the winners will be sworn in at all.

Mathieu Eugene used to live in Canarsie, miles away from the 40th District where he was elected last Tuesday. Eugene says he now lives in an apartment in the district.

"I've been sleeping in my apartment since before the day of the election," said Eugene.

Eugene's residency is the key to his political future — the key to whether or not he will take office in the City Council.

After winning in a special election last week, it was revealed that Eugene was not living in his district on Election Day.

Eugene says otherwise and now he is going to have to provide hard proof.

State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo ruled Thursday that city law requires a candidate live in his or her district on Election Day. Calling allegations against Eugene "credible," the council announced that it will be investigating Eugene.

The council is requiring that Eugene provide copies of leases, rent payments, and even electric bills from his new apartment in his Brooklyn district.

They will also question Eugene's family, landlord, and neighbors.

"This is an unprecedented issue for the New York City Council,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in a statement. “It is regrettable that there has been so much uncertainty for candidates and their constituents."

This could be bad news for Eugene who has yet to publicly produce the lease he says he signed for February 1st.

Also caught up in the delay is Staten Island Councilman-elect Vincent Ignizio, who also won in a special election last week and has yet to be sworn-in. Unlike Eugene, no one is questioning where he lives.

-Molly Kroon
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