We guess 3 out of 5 isn't bad!
Jan 14, 2015 | 7398 views | 0 0 comments | 297 297 recommendations | email to a friend | print
We dug up this photo from our archives and ran it last week, hoping that maybe some of our readers would be able to help us identify some of the folks in the shot.

The person on the far right is, of course, former Assemblyman Vito Lopez. Lopez got his start as a social worker at Stanhope Street Senior Center in Bushwick, where he began organizing seniors.

In 1973, he founded the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, and in a deft political move used the goodwill he generated among the people of Ridgewood and Bushwick and turned it into a loyal constituency he used to help him get elected to the Assembly in 1984, and continually re-elected after that even as his popularity waned in other parts of the district.

Lopez was eventually forced to resign in 2013 after allegations that he sexually harassed two former female staffer, allegations he tried to shake off but would eventually lead to his downfall.

As several people guessed, this is a check presentation involving another North Brooklyn nonprofit, the St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation Corporation, which is still around to this day and known as the St. Nick's Alliance.

The man standing next to Lopez is Gary Hattem, the founding executive director of the group. According to one of our tipsters, today he is president of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation.

The man in the middle was identified as Monsignor Walter Vetro, who was pastor of St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church from 1970 until 1987. He died in 1990.

In 1975 he founded the St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation Corporation to address housing decay in Williamsburg. The Monsignor Vetro Apartments, an affordable senior housing complex in North Brooklyn, is named in his honor.

He also served as principal of Christ the King High School in Middle Village and Bishop McDonnell High School in Brooklyn.

The man and the woman on the end remained a mystery, but one reader who emailed said she recognized the woman as a person who worked in philanthropic giving with Citibank at the time, but couldn't remember her name.

Her guess would make sense, as obviously a check of some sort is being presented to the nonprofit. Perhaps both are representing the bank.

So mystery (almost) solved, but really we just wanted to run a picture of a youthful Vito Lopez for your enjoyment!

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