WNBC Reporter Broke Story About N.Y. Candidate Promising Harlem ‘KFC and Watermelons’

By Kevin Eck 

What started as a local station’s I-Team report about an allegedly shady real estate dealing involving a man running to be the State Senator for Harlem ended with an arrest and a viral story about a racist email.

WNBC investigative reporter Sarah Wallace emailed Republican candidate Jon Girodes during an investigation into his real estate dealings when Girodes emailed her back by saying, “Ps I’m hosting an event in Harlem which will be in front of the state building in a few weeks. We will [donate] Kool Aid, KFC and watermelons to the public on 125th street in Harlem. Please join us to help the community.”

The comment angered the community and went viral, but didn’t distract the NYPD from the real reason Wallace was investigating Girodes. He’s now facing nine counts of grand larceny.


“The scam is simple: He posts on Craigslist under his name or assumed name saying he’s posting an apartment that’s affordable because that’s his initiative as a public officer,” said Pierre Gooding, the attorney who represents 10 people who say Girodes scammed them out of anywhere from $400 to $15,000. “The person comes over, he shows them the amenities, wines them and dines them and then takes their money. And then he comes up with various reasons why he won’t return that money.”

Wallace joined WNBC from ABC-owned statin WABC in September 2015.

Here’s the report about Girodes’ racist comments: