Residency, schmediency! The historic City Council victory for Mathieu Eugene continues to be debated. Eugene, the first Haitian-American elected to City Council, won the election for the 40th District in Brooklyn, but didn't actually live in the district. Eugene had postponed the swearing-in on Thursday as he looked for an apartment (though Eugene's lawyer said the swearing-in was postponed because votes weren't certified). And he was apparently succesful, because the Times reports Eugene's now residing in the district he was elected to represent.
But the debate is what the City Charter will allow. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn asked Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for help in interpreting the law. The various lawyers and election law experts the NY Times spoke to have differing opinions. One former chairman of the NYC Bar Association's election law committee said that Eugene will be in trouble, because he should have been residing in the 40th on election day. However, another former chairman says that the argument (proposed by Eugene's lawyer) that Eugene is safe as long as he's living there when the votes are certified might also be acceptable.
You can listen to Mathieu Eugene on WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show (it's the last segment) from Monday; he says his children were born in the 40th, points out the programs he's started there, and his big issues include affordable health care and housing. When Lehrer questions on residency, Eugene is somewhat defensive, noting he's lived there awhile but he's given so much to the district.