June 2, 2023
Top aide to NYC Councilman Christopher Marte accused of berating reporter with sexist slurs

Top aide to NYC Councilman Christopher Marte accused of berating reporter with sexist slurs

A top aide to Manhattan Councilman Christopher Marte recently berated a female journalist with a torrent of sexist slurs, according to a complaint she filed this week with the City Council.

The Marte aide, Stephen Wong, made the offensive comments in four voicemails left with the reporter, Lotus Chau of Chinese-language Tsing Tao Daily, on Feb. 15 in regards to a disagreement over a news article she had written about the Democratic Council member, her complaint alleges.

“The messages, which were in Cantonese, said ‘F–k you,’ ‘f–k your mother,’ ‘you c–t,’ ‘c–t between your knees,’ ‘slaughter … you pig,’ ‘you c–t pig’ and ‘your newspaper go die,’” Chau wrote in the complaint, which was obtained by the Daily News.

Chau called the comments she was allegedly subjected to “abhorrent and unacceptable.”

“The messages were vile, vulgar, demeaning and hate-filled,” she wrote.

Councilman Christopher Marte speaks at a protest on May 2, 2022.

Chau submitted the complaint with Marte’s office and looped in Council Speaker Adrienne Adams as well as Council members Julie Won, Sandra Ung and Linda Lee, the body’s three Asian-American members. She offered to furnish the Council with the voicemail recordings.

Wong, who serves as a senior adviser to Marte, did not return a request for comment Thursday. Chau declined to comment beyond her complaint.

Caitlin Kelmar, Marte’s chief of staff, said her office takes Chau’s allegations “very seriously” and that she expects Wong will be reprimanded.

“We will definitely be discussing this within the office, with the City Council’s general counsel’s office, and we will be taking action,” Kelmar said.

Marte’s office confirmed the beef between Wong and Chau stemmed from a Feb. 14 story she had written about the Council member’s decision to sign on to the Progressive Caucus’ new mission statement, which includes a pledge to “reduce the size and scope of the NYPD.”

The police reduction pledge has stirred controversy in the Council and resulted in 15 members leaving the group in protest earlier this month. Chau’s story noted the seeming contradiction in Marte having apparently claimed that even though he remains a Progressive Caucus member, he does not support reducing funding for the police.

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