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Ruben Diaz Jr. slips Carl Heastie cash at Sharpton event

Carl Heastie’s new job as ­Assembly speaker is already paying off.

At the end of a meeting of the National Action Network in Harlem on Saturday in which Heastie waxed poetic about renewed focus on Albany ethics — and as the Rev. Al Sharpton pressed his high-profile guests for donations — Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. slipped Heastie a wad of cash.

But it wasn’t your typical Albany payoff. It was just Diaz trying to save his fellow Dem from looking ungenerous.

The two pols were seated next to each other on stage when Sharpton, as he usually does after his Saturday speeches, called out for handouts like an auctioneer.

As people began tossing money into a wicker collection basket in front of the stage, the new speaker seemed to come up empty-handed.

At that point, Diaz divided the bills he had clumped in his own fist, discreetly handing half of the cash to his pal.

Diaz wouldn’t disclose the amount of the impromptu loan — the bills looked likely mostly ones and fives — but it seemed like he might forgive the debt.

Sharpton (left) gives Heastie a hug at the Nation Action Network in Harlem.Photo: R. Umar Abbasi

Asked if Heastie would be repaying him, Diaz chirped: “He doesn’t have to. He’s a great guy! Everybody knows who he is so he’s good for it.”

Fortunately for Heastie, an accountant by trade, he won’t have to list the loan on his annual financial -disclosure forms since it was likely smaller than $1,000.

One thing that is known about the donation is it’s going to a non-profit that, according to 2013 records, is saddled with more than $800,000 in unpaid taxes and led by a preacher who owes $3.77 million in federal and state taxes.

The payoff came the same morning Heastie was making his first public address since he was sworn in Tuesday as speaker, following the ouster of Sheldon Silver, who has been indicted by the feds on bribery charges.

It also came as he trumpeted a panel he formed to hire an Albany ethics watchdog.

A group of six Assembly members will lead a national search for an executive director of the new Office of Ethics and Compliance, according to Heastie.

The panel includes Republican Assemblywoman Janet Duprey. Duprey was the subject of an ethics complaint last election when her opponent accused her of bullying rival supporters.

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Ruben Diaz Jr. slips Carl Heastie cash at Sharpton event

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