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Koo Replaces Grodenchik as Chair of Parks Committee

Council Member Peter Koo (New York City Council)

June 13, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan

Council Member Peter Koo has been appointed as Chair of the City Council Committee on Park and Recreations, filling the empty seat left by Council Member Barry Grodenchik who resigned last month following a sexual harassment scandal.

“I am thrilled at my appointment to the Chair of the NYC Council Committee on Parks and Recreation,” Koo said. “As the representative of over 350 acres of parkland in Council District 20, I know firsthand just how important it is to ensure every park and playground serves its residents as a safe space for recreational opportunities, programs, and activities. I look forward to building on our city’s legacy as steward to the greatest green spaces in the world.”

Over the past 18 months, Koo, who represents Downtown Flushing, Murray Hill, and Queensboro Hill, has served as Chair of the Technology Committee. Council Member Robert Holden, who has been on the committee since November 2017, was appointed to succeed Koo.

Koo’s new chairship appointment was praised by the Play Fair Coalition, a pro-parks organization established in February of this year.

“Councilmember Koo’s district includes Kissena Park, Kissena Corridor Park, and a key stretch of the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway, and is adjacent to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the largest park in Queens and the fourth largest in the city,” reads a statement from the Coalition. “Parks are clearly very important to the Councilmember and his constituents, and the Coalition looks forward to working with him to ensure that all open spaces across the city are well-maintained, well-funded, and equitable.”

Grodenchik resigned from the position in May after admitting to sexually harassing a female City Council staffer. The staffer said that Grodenchik made several unwanted advances and had inappropriate conversations with her. She also said that Grodenchik repeatedly singled her out for hugs and kisses and made comments about her weight.

After admitting to the harassment, Grodenchik, who still serves Council District 23 in eastern Queens, agreed to undergo sexual harassment training at his own expense.

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