A New Family Emergency or Just Shelton Being Shelton?


And who’s that woman leaning into him? No question, RIOC President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes can make you shake your head and whisper WTF? And what about that “family emergency” keeping you away from the “PSD Engagement” on the same day?

Haynes skipped out of a PSD Engagement meeting on the day a photo was taken at Gracie Mansion and later posted on Instagram. But his internal excuse-making machine otherwise known as his “executive team,” reported “a family emergency” as the cause for his absence.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

The man has a lot of family emergencies, and they always make him invisible at critical moments. Like the week in which he was instrumental, at a distance, when his mentor, Susan Rosenthal, got fired crudely over unsubstantiated charges. Or the multiple board meetings skipped.

Absence rumors claimed Seldom Seen Shelton had COVID at least three times, forcing him to isolate for long stretches.

But as one local wit observed, “‘Family emergencies’ are the new ‘Dog ate my homework.'” Is that the case here? We don’t know.

A Semi-Serious Self-Reveal

“A few days ago Akeem Jamal, Assistant Vice President of Communications and Government Affairs and I attended a Juneteenth celebration that was inspiring, reflective, and a celebration honoring African American heritage,” Haynes wrote on his Instagram feed.

But that is not President/AVP Akeem Jamal leaning into him. Really.

And note the clever use of “A few days ago,” without exposing the actual date. It’s hard to keep up.

But we can confirm the date for you. It was last Thursday, the same day a family emergency allegedly prevented his doing his job on Roosevelt Island.

Juneteenth at Gracie Mansion, June 15th, 2023. Mayor’s Press Office

And there’s First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright, at the far right, wearing the same dress she wore while leaning into Seldom Seen Shelton.

Haynes and Wright have much in common. Wright holds the most powerful post in city government among those who who never stood for a vote. And both can credit their $200K salaried jobs to connections within the Brooklyn Democratic machine, now controlled by Mayor Eric Adams.

According to Wikipedia, “Despite multiple arrests and previous federal investigations, Wright was named First Deputy Mayor by Eric Adams on December 6, 2022 and began in January 2023.”

Apparently, they’ve been friends for a long time and share similar values.

But What Was the Family Emergency?

That excuse has been flipped so many times, it’s meaningless nowadays.

The morning after the PSD event, all was well with Haynes and his family. He attended a belated Pride Flag raising where employees were again recruited to bulk up the so-called “crowd.”

So, we’re back at the new normal on Roosevelt Island, that is, stuck with the status quo. For now.

With no rescue on the horizon as Governor Hochul has pledged allegiance to the latest rendition of Team RIOC.

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