Two men down, one to go
May 10, 2017 | 339 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
We ran this undated photo last week that we found in our archives asking outr readers to help us identify the three men in the photo with former Queens borough president Claire Shulman. We received several responses, including from Larry Penner of Great Neck, Maria Thomson of Woodhaven, Jeff Gottlieb from the Central Queens Historical Association, and Virginia Salow.

Everyone was easily able to identify the man on the far left as former councilman Martin Povman. Povman succeeded Donald Manes in the City Council after Manes assumed the post of Queens borough president, which would end tragically in his suicide due to scandals related to his time in office.

Povman represented Kew Gardens Hills and the surrounding neighborhoods, and was one of the longest serving City Council members, enjoying a term that ran from 1971 to 2001 – 30 years! - before term limits forced him from office.

In addition to being a councilman, he also served as a Democratic Party district leader and State Committee member. He is still alive and practicing law in Forest Hills.

The man between Povman and Shulman is former councilman Sheldon Leffler. Leffler served on the City Council from 1978, representing neighborhoods like Hollis and Richmond Hill, until he was also forced out by term limits in 2001.

Pushed out of elected office, he set his sights on the borough president post, but came in a distant third in the Democratic Primary to the eventual winner, Helen Marshall, and Carol Gressler.

That seemed to be the last we would hear of Leffler, but his campaign for borough president landed him in trouble with the law. Two years after he ran, Leffler was found guilty of misrepresenting $10,000 in campaign contributions so the money could qualify for the city's lucrative matching funds program.

He eventually paid a find and served two years of probation, dodging a potential sentence of up to four years in prison for fraud.

We are still looking for any information on the third man in the photo or what they might be discussing, so if you think you an idea, get in touch with us at polposition@queensledger.com.

Although we did get one possible suggestion as to the topic of conversation from an emailer who didn't leave their name: “They are pointing at all the different things Queens politicians could have named after them.”
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