Democratic Councilwoman Julie Won’s husband — who is also her campaign manager — was banned from Twitter after spewing the N-word and other insensitive language on the platform years ago, the Daily News has learned.
Though he isn’t a Council employee, Won’s husband, Eugene Noh, has also recently been looped in on correspondences about the inner workings of her office, including a staff hire, according to emails obtained by The News that could raise ethics concerns.
Noh, a political strategist who married Won in 2020 and then managed her 2021 campaign for a western Queens Council seat, thumbed out the questionable tweets over a decade ago through his @EugeneNoh handle, screenshots show. The posts are no longer publicly viewable due to Noh’s account suspension, but The News got hold of a cache of screengrabs of the since-deleted missives.
“F—k dude. Get here soon n---a,” Noh tweeted at another user on Nov. 22, 2011.
Noh, who is Asian and was 20 at the time, first denied writing the social media messages when contacted by The News.
“I have no idea what’s going, man,” he said. “It’s not me, and I mean, clearly, it’s not me ... I don’t have a Twitter. I don’t recall having one, especially over a decade ago.”
But after The News sent Noh a screenshot of the tweet and one of his Twitter profile page, Noh said that he “must have forgotten about this account.”
“It looks like I had forgotten that I had a Twitter,” he said. “When you sent me the screenshots, I saw like, ‘Oh no, that’s clearly me’ ... It looks like I tweeted like 150 times over six years. So it’s like a pretty miniscule part of my life ... That’s why I forgot.”
Noh also posted and reposted eyebrow-raising tweets about gays and people with speech impediments.
“I don’t care what anybody says, being homosexual is still not as gay as Twilight,” read a Dec. 6, 2011 post retweeted by Noh from an account called “Men’s Humor.”
A few months earlier, Noh wrote in another post: “Lisp has an s in it so ppl with the condition can self-diagnose themselves, methinks.”
”A decade ago as a young man, I said and did many things that were obnoxious, attention-seeking or flat-out offensive — a lot of which I regret right now as a father and as a husband,” Noh told The News. “Really, it’s no wonder Julie refused to date me until I turned 30.”
It’s unclear exactly when or why Noh’s Twitter handle got suspended, but it was active as recently as 2018. Twitter did not return requests for comment on why it expelled Noh, but a disclaimer on his deleted account states it was suspended for violating Twitter’s rules.
Won did not return requests for comment.
In addition to letting him run her 2021 campaign, Won consulted her husband last year on a key appointment to her Council office, according to the emails reviewed by The News.
“I think she will be good,” Won emailed Noh on July 13 from her official government account with a job application attached from Jenna Laing, who would go on to be hired as her Council communications director.
When asked about this, Noh said he doesn’t “make decisions or anything like that for Julie as Council member.”
“I’m her husband, yes. I’m her campaign manager. So there is a firewall. Anytime she asks me my opinion on something I may give it, but I am genuinely disinterested in what happens in the Council office,” he said. “I, in my estimation, exist pretty much only to compete and to campaign, and that’s what I enjoy doing.”
Won also looped in her husband on multiple emails last summer from the New York City Districting Commission sent directly to Council members seeking input on last year’s redrawing of the Council district map.
But in an email chain in May, Noh indicated he’s aware he shouldn’t be involved in government business as a non-Council staffer.
“Remove me from this chain; I’m not on the government team,” he wrote on May 18 to a lobbyist from the Bolton-St. Johns firm who included him on an email to Won about a discretionary funding request for an LBGTQ community group.
Though sent to Won’s office, the lobbyist’s email was addressed to Queens Councilwoman Linda Lee, and Noh capped off his reply: “Also, you either mistakenly sent this to the wrong council member, or you’re racist.”
Council members are barred under the City Charter from disseminating information to non-Council staff that has been obtained as part of their “official duties” and “which is not otherwise available to the public.”
Given that Charter clause, Richard Briffault, a Columbia University public policy professor who previously chaired the city Conflicts of Interest Board, said Won’s habit of letting her husband in on Council affairs could be problematic.
“If that is considered by the Council to be nonpublic information, then it would violate city ethics rules,” he said.
Briffault also noted that Noh being privy to internal Council affairs could raise conflict of interest concerns since he’s a political consultant who has worked for various local elected officials beyond Won, including ex-New York Rep. Max Rose.
Before being elected to the Council, Won was involved in the nonprofit sector, and helped co-found Community Capacity Development, a Queens-based violence interrupter group.
A biography on Won’s campaign website says she is still a Community Capacity Development board member. But a spokesman for the group, Sunday Iwayemi, said Won gave up her board seat after she was elected in 2021.
Still, Won steered $30,000 in Council discretionary funds to the group last year to bankroll its “anti-gun violence programming and school mediation services in public schools citywide,” records show.
Won’s post-election interactions with the group go beyond funding, and also include her husband.
On April 20, she shared an email with her husband from Community Capacity Development’s executive director thanking her for participating in a policy meeting about the group’s anti-gun violence initiatives.
“I welcome any questions you may have and look forward to the next convening,” the executive director, K. Bain, wrote in the email that Won then forwarded to her husband.