Brooklyn Democratic Party boss Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn threw her own party’s candidate under the bus Tuesday over “chilling allegations” by an autistic former aide who claimed he was mistreated while working with him.
Hermelyn called out city Councilman Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge) over abuse claims by onetime aide Michael Bistreich in a scathing press release, stopping just short of endorsing his GOP rival — a close pal of the party boss.
“As Democrats, we have to hold our own party members to the highest standards, and unlike many Republicans, we cannot turn a blind eye to our own party’s accountability for the sake of political gain,” Hermelyn wrote.
“Some have asked for Justin Brannan’s resignation, which I have not taken a position on as we wait for all the facts to come to light about these disturbing incidents,” she said.
“However, having experienced harassment and intimidation throughout my life, even as the first female Brooklyn County Democratic leader, I know how frightening it can be to speak out,” Hermelyn added.
The political tongue-lashing stems from Bistreich’s endorsement of Republican Councilman Ari Kagan, who is running against his former boss in the redrawn 47th District, in an explosive video.
Kagan is a former Democrat who switched parties when his district was redrawn but remains so close with Hermelyn that some insiders claim she’s discretely using her clout to back the Republican.
“It’s very clear that she’s been using the party resources to back Ari,” one operative told The Post. “She had to have fights when there’s no reason to have fights.”
Bistreich filed a discrimination suit claiming horrific harassment by former Councilman Vincent Gentile’s staff that included being locked in the basement and being abused by others in the councilman’s office.
Both Bistreich and Brannan worked for Gentile at the time.
The suit was settled for $850,000 in 2021.
“This is the type of bullying and abusive behavior that we do not need in our leadership in our city council,” the former aide said in the video.
Brannan’s campaign fired back at Hermelyn on Tuesday for chiming in on his beef with the former aide, accusing the party boss of “amplifying GOP attacks” against him.
“Justin has never been afraid to stand up to his own party so this is the price he pays,” a spokesman for the campaign told The Post. “The leader of the Brooklyn Democratic Party is now amplifying GOP attacks.
“Justin’s desperate political opponents – that now include Rodneyse – have been lodging these same false accusations in every campaign for the past 6 years,” the spokesman said. “Justin had nothing to do with this. He was not named in this lawsuit and was never subpoenaed.
“Rodneyse should be careful she doesn’t end up getting sued for libel and slander.”