Corruption

12/05/11 From Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin,

Assemblyman Boyland

I have called for the resignation of Assemblyman William Boyland after he was arrested twice in nine months for corruption. The first time was based on a no-show hospital job and just a few weeks ago he was arrested again after soliciting $250,000 in bribes from an undercover FBI agent, including asking $7,000 to pay for the attorney fees in his first corruption trial. When your bail bondsman is on speed dial, you’ve got issues. One of the four main planks I ran on was fighting corruption in Albany, which has been called the most corrupt legislature in the country. I cannot and will not stay silent when the corruption is this obvious and blatant.

http://www.cbs6albany.com/video/c/1143371293/local-news/1311396246001/wrgb-localnews

http://www.capitaltonight.com/2011/12/the-first-call-for-boyland-to-resign-is-made/#.Tt2HdIl9NpU.email

McLaughlin.12.5.11.boyland resignation (pdf)

McLaughlin.12.5.11.letter to boyland (pdf)

McLaughlin.12.5.11.boyland resignation (doc) 

 

Espada charities fraud redux?

Probers find Brooklyn boss Vito Lopez’s campaign treasurer and girlfriend reap huge pay hikes with sleight of hand

Lopez says the pay is on par with other non-profit executives

BY Celeste Katz & Greg B. Smith
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Wednesday, November 16 2011, 6:23 PM

Assemblyman Vito Lopez in front of dumpsters at a waste tranfer site in Brooklyn,NY.  photo Debbie Egan-Chin

Egan-Chin,Debbie/ Egan-Chin,Debbie

Assemblyman Vito Lopez in front of dumpsters at a waste tranfer site in Brooklyn,NY. photo Debbie Egan-Chin

City Planning Commissioner Angela Battaglia attends a City Planning Commission meeting on Sept. 29, 2010 in Manhattan, N.Y.

Hagen, Kevin Freelance NYDN/Freelance, NYDN

City Planning Commissioner Angela Battaglia attends a City Planning Commission meeting on Sept. 29, 2010 in Manhattan, N.Y.

A political crony of Brooklyn Democratic boss Vito Lopez “recreated” missing documents at a non-profit she runs to justify hiking her salary to a jaw-dropping $782,000, a new report alleges.

The city Department of Investigation details several alleged misdeeds by Christiana Fisher, Lopez’s campaign treasurer and director of the non-profit he founded, the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Center.

Investigators say Fisher also approved raises for Angela Battaglia, a Ridgewood executive who’s Lopez’s girlfriend and a sitting member of the city Planning Commission.

Battaglia’s salary jumped 73% in one year to $343,000 with Fisher’s approval.

The stunning pay hikes and other corruption allegations at Ridgewood Bushwick are the focus of ongoing probes by law enforcement, including Manhattan federal prosecutors.

The new allegations surfaced in a Nov. 9 Department of Investigation report obtained by the Daily News under the Freedom of Information law.

Lopez founded the non-profit years ago to provide social services and housing to seniors across northern Brooklyn.

Lopez says he’s no longer connected to the group, although he’s steered hundreds of thousands of public dollars to it through legislative “member items.”

And as Brooklyn Democratic boss, he holds sway over numerous politicians who have also steered public money to the charity.

The Investigation Department’s latest report alleges:

*Antoinette Kozlowsky, an assistant director at Ridgewood-Bushick’s, told probers that Fisher “recreated” board resolutions approving pay hikes because the originals had been “misplaced.”

Between 2008 and 2009, Fisher claimed the board approved doubling her salary from $9,000 bi-weekly to $17,600, okayed a $48,000 “bonus” and signed off on $170,000 in “retroactive” pay that raised her compensation to $782,000 in fiscal 2009.

*None of the eight board knew what Fisher made and six of the eight couldn’t recall signing the resolutions approving the raises.

*Fisher couldn’t produce timesheets for 2008 and 2009, and Battaglia had no timesheets at all.

Lopez defended the group and its executives, saying an independent review by a consultant Ridgewood-Bushwick hired found the pay matched similar groups.

“I am proud of the work that they have done and the quality of programs and services that they have provided to thousands of my constituents,” Lopez said.

Fisher and Battaglia did not return calls seeking comment. Ridgewood Bushwick’s attorney, Edward McDonald, said the agency and its board has been revamped since the questions arose about spending last year.

He said Ridgewood mistakenly listed pay by fiscal year, exagerating compensation figures. When the pay is tallied by calendar year, Fisher’s never topped $$639,626.

“The issues addressed in the report are all issues that existed before the changes that have been implemented by Ridgewood Bushwick,” McDonald said.

A spokesman for Mayor Bloomberg said the report shows “troubling actions were taken by the Executive Director of Ridgewood-Bushwick. In order for the City to continue to working with this organization, corrective action needs to be taken to ensure that this kind of thing does not happen again. The new board members know that.”

Vito’s two doctor$

By JOSH MARGOLIN and DAVID SEIFMAN

Last Updated: 7:10 AM, November 17, 2011

Top executives at the scandal-plagued Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council — one of whom earned $782,000 in 2009 — doctored records to justify their sky-high salaries, according to an explosive report from the city Department of Investigation.

And still, City Hall will continue awarding lucrative public contracts to the social-services agency, which was founded by Brooklyn Democratic leader Vito Lopez, a longtime ally of Mayor Bloomberg.

In a Nov. 9 report, DOI said explanations for the massive salaries are “not borne out by the facts.” Investigators said key information was omitted from the organization’s tax returns and that two city audits “found numerous transactions that . . . were improper or questionable.”

DOI investigated Ridgewood Bushwick to determine whether the organization and a sister agency are qualified to continue receiving $69 million worth of contracts from five city agencies. Now that DOI has issued its findings — and Ridgewood Bushwick has changed the membership of its governing board — City Hall can continue making payments.

“Troubling actions were taken,” said Bloomberg spokeswoman Julie Wood. “In order for the city to continue working with this organization, corrective action needs to be taken to ensure that this kind of thing does not happen again. The new board members know that.”

DOI found that salaries for executive director Christiana Fisher and housing director Angela Battaglia were way out of whack. Fisher is Lopez’s campaign treasurer and Battaglia is his girlfriend. The women did not respond to messages yesterday.

The DOI said:

* Board members “did not remember signing resolutions” authorizing Fisher’s raises even though documents with their signatures were turned over to investigators.

* Fisher admitted she “recreated” salary records “because the originals had been misplaced.”

* Board actions violated state law.

* Battaglia, who also earns $54,150 as a city planning commissioner, saw her salary jump 73 percent in 2009, from $198,000 to $343,000.

* One assistant executive director was so uncomfortable when her salary was increased in 2009 to $219,000 — or 32 percent — she asked for it to be reduced.

Ridgewood Bushwick serves thousands of people, employs 2,000 and doubles as Lopez’s power base.

Last year, DOI found some agency board members had no clue about the actions they were taking and that the director of Ridgewood Bushwick’s Hope Gardens senior center was operating her own nonprofit out of the center.

jmargolin@nypost.com

For Bronx Councilman Larry Seabrook, feds charge corruption is all in the family — just ask his sister!

Feds: Bronx Councilman Seabrook used public funds to buy 600 copies of sister’s book

BY Robert Gearty
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Wednesday, November 16 2011, 8:22 PM

Former New York City Councilman Larry Seabrook leaves Manhattan Federal Court on Wednesday as his trial continues.

Jefferson Siegel/Jefferson Siegel for News

Former New York City Councilman Larry Seabrook leaves Manhattan Federal Court on Wednesday as his trial continues.

A nonprofit controlled by Bronx City Councilman Larry Seabrook used $7,200 in City Council discretionary “slush” funds to buy a book self-published by his sister, a jury was told Wednesday.

Witness Philesha Jude said the 600 copies of the book “If These Chains Could Talk” were supposed to be given out at a 2006 education summit but not all were.

She said copies of Betty Seabrook Burney’s tome were then kept in the reception area of the nonprofit for visitors to take but by the time she left in 2008 one or two boxes of books were still left.

Burney is a Florida educator and the book is based on interviews with jailed teenage inmates.

Jude told the Manhattan Federal Court jury that Burney’s book was the only one the nonprofit ever bought in bulk.

Jude, 29, was a bookkeeper for the nonprofit, the African-American Legal & Civic Hall of Fame and another Seabrook-run entity, the Northeast Bronx Redevelopment Corp. for three years.

She was called to the stand by prosecutors who accuse Seabrook of steering $1.2 million to those two organizations, as well as two other nonprofits that Seabrook controlled to enrich himself, his girlfriend, family and friends.

Jude testified that the girlfriend, Seabrook’s sisters and brother, his nephews and his granddaughter were paid $612,000 in consulting fees and salaries during her time there.

One consultancy paid Seabrook sister Priscilla Jenkins $3,775 for a month’s work evaluating one of the nonprofit’s city contracts, she said.

Another paid Oliver Seabrook, the councilman’s brother, $61,000 to be a lecturer.

Jude said Seabrook’s granddaughter was hired as a $50-an-hour consultant to “assist with seminars and workshops.” The granddaughter was paid $750.

Asked by prosecutor Steve Lee how old the granddaughter was at the time, Jude replied, “Fifteen or 16.”

Jude also said Seabrook prepared the budgets the nonprofits submitted to the city to obtain the discretionary grants Seabrook had allocated.

rgearty@nydailynews.com

City worker jailed for stealing $10M from fund to identify 9/11 remains still holding on to cash

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kruger and His Friends Have Brought the Corruption of the Brooklyn and Queens Democratic Machine to Albany

If NY is Hit With A Nuclear Bomb All That Will Be Left Are Roaches and Lobbyists

Teflon Man

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara accused Lipsky of funneling $252,000 from clients as bribes into the pockets of Brooklyn Democratic Sen. Carl Kruger, who was charged with a wide range of corrupt activities.

The Slow And Quiet Return Of Richard Lipsky(CHN)

Lobbying reports on file with the city and state show Lipsky billed at least $28,500 to three clients in March and April. Even if Lipsky is convicted, he may still be able to fall back on his connections: While felons are barred from voting in New York state, they are free to work as registered lobbyists. Former Bronx Sen. Guy Velella worked as a lobbyist after he was released from prison on corruption charges.

Time to Rat Carl Kruger to Limit Jail Time

One corruption trial for Brooklyn state Sen. Carl Kruger: judge(NYP)


Kruger and FCR Bruce Bender Came Out of the Corrupt Brooklyn Machine

Indicted Let Off Because of Health

The Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club: lasting connections to a Brooklyn power base have meant Atlantic Yards support

Judge Drops Charges Against an Ailing Meade Esposito

Former Democratic Leader in Brooklyn Is Convicted – New York Times

Feds Order Vito to Give up Info on his Empire * Inside Vito’s Long Island Love Nest * House organ! Vito and allies have their own state-financed newspaper * Architect draws $1 million in business after working on Vito Lopez’s home * This is supposed to be a senior center. It’s actually Vito Lopez’s clubhouse* Brooklyn Democratic boss Vito Lopez has secret army – uses senior center staff for political machine * Feds eye Lopez low-rise plan as Hasid favor * Vito Lopez scandal group got $24M to fix ‘$10’ houses

*

Kruger’s campaigns see big ‘Net’ gains

State Sen. Carl Kruger — who, the feds charge, directed state money to the Atlantic Yards project, which includes a new Nets arena — took thousands of dollars in campaign cash from deep-pocketed donors connected to its developer, the team and the arena. (NYP)

1. Ratner Forest City Lobbyist Lipsky Arrested for Bribery

Richard Lipsky, a former Ratner lobbyist who, with Kruger, was charged by feds on March 9 in a $1 million bribery case, legally gave Kruger’s coffers $3,500 between 2003 and 2007, and Lipsky’s wife, Dorothy, gave $9,000 between 2008 and 2010, state data show. Lipsky was caught on FBI wiretaps allegedly paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to Kruger, who is charged with directing state cash to Forest City’s $4 billion Atlantic Yards project and other Lipsky clients.* Lipsky already earned $40,600 lobbying this year

2. Ratner Forest City Lobbyist Arrested for Bribery in Yonkers

ZehyJereis in Oct. 2006 was given a one-year, $60,000 real estate consulting contract by FCR in what prosecutors claim was a payoff by the company for getting Annabi to drop her opposition to the development. Jereis had no experience in the real estate business and never submitted monthly work reports to FCR until March 2007 when the feds began dropping subpoenas as part of the Yonkers investigation, prosecutors said. Last year, SandyAnnabi was charged by federal authorities with accepting more than $166,000 in bribes to vote in favor of Ridge Hill and another Yonkers development.

Kruger Scandal Gets Cute

Compliments of a reader, an anime version of Sen. Carl Kruger and “Real Estate Deverloper No. 1 (AKA, it’s fairly ceratin, Bruce Bender of Forest City Ratner) discussing how to use $4 million of worth of taxpayer funds for a variety of projects – including the Carlton Avenue Bridge. All the dialogue is lifted directly from the US attorney’s criminal complaint against Kruger, Assemblyman William Boyland Jr., lobbyist Richard Lipsky et al.

Lipsky was Ratner’s Forest City 2nd Lobbyist Bribery Indictment in A Year

Last Sunday’s True News
Today’s NYP
In 2006, Bender, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, was the point man for Forest City’s efforts to win approval from Yonkers for a $630 million commercial and residential development. A Yonkers councilwoman, Sandy Annabi, stunningly switched her position on the development, and helped pass it. Last year, Annabi was charged by federal authorities with accepting more than $166,000 in bribes to vote for that deal and another development. A Forest City spokesman said the company backs Bender, and noted, “We cooperated fully with the [Yonkers] investigation, and neither the company nor any of its employees were found to engage in wrongful behavior.”

FOREST CITY RATNER EXEC WHO LOBBIED “CROOKED” STATE SEN. CARL …(NYP)

Score!
Campaign donations to state Sen. Carl Kruger from contributors connected to the New Jersey Nets and the Nets’ new stadium’s developer, Forest City Ratner:
* Ahron Hersh, Nets investor ­– $5,000 in 2005
* Vincent Viola, Nets investor – $5,000 in 2009
* Martin Rostowsky, Nets investor – $250 in 2004
* Michael Ratner, part-owner of Nets and brother of Forest City boss Bruce Ratner – $2,000 in 2004
* Karen Ranucci, wife of Michael Ratner – $2,000 in 2004
* Richard Lipsky, Forest City lobbyist – $3,500 from 2003 to ’07
* Dorothy Lipsky, wife of Richard Lipsky – $9,000 from 2008 to ’10
Albany Pork Goes Beyond Member Items

Crooked Carl Kruger wallowed in Albany’s corrupt pork-barrel slush-fund ways (NYDN)

FCR Bender was seeking an amazing $15 million: $9 million for a bridge related to his company’s Atlantic Yards project, $2 million for a retail center in Mill Basin and $4 million to renovate a skating rink in Prospect Park. As it happens, Bender’s wife sits on the board of the Prospect Park Alliance. Kruger laments that he has but $4 million to offer and asks, “What do you want done?” adding, “I guess the park. F— the bridge.”

Ratner’s Kruger connection! Bruce had dealings with arrested senator (Brooklyn Paper)

The Sunday Krugerpalooza

Insights into the relationship between State Senator Carl Kruger, lobbyist John Lipsky and developer Forest City Ratner continue.New York Daily News, Crooked Carl Kruger wallowed in Albany’s corrupt pork-barrel slush-fund ways An FBI listening device showed just how much money an individual lawmaker can control – and just how routinely a legislator can dole it out, without accountability or sound judgment, to special friends.

Anthony Seminerio Traps Carl Kruger

Ex-Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio shook down Parkway Hospital, says suit (DN)

Timeline: Carl Kruger and the Turano Family
State Senator Carl Kruger, an Albany power broker, and the Turano family of Mill Basin, Brooklyn, are players in a story of corruption, bribery and lavish living.

Senator Kruger Allegedly Steals Families, Too (Sheepshead Bay Bites)

Future Fed Prisoner Kruger Still Thinks He is A State Senator?

‘Tampering With Evidence’ After Death Of 15-Year-Old Boy

Sen. Carl Kruger, who was indicted on corruption charges along with Boyland earlier this year, is being accused of injecting himself into the investigation of the death of a 15-year-old Brooklyn student who fell off the roof of a school Tuesday night, the Daily News says Political low: State Sen. Carl Kruger accused of trespassing on crime scene Kruger reportedly stepped behind police lines at the crime scene of 15-year-old’s death to make point about underage drinking. (NYDN)

Monday, March 21, 2011

New York’s Dirty Dozen and Dozens

Bernard Kerik Former NYPD Commissioner In Jail

Bernard Kerik came from New Jersey, but we made him the NYPD commissioner and even named a jail after him before he pleaded guilty to eight felonies.


State Controller Alan Hevesi
Facing Sentence of Jail Time

Former assemblyman and labor leader Brian McLaughlin In Jail
McLaughlin of Queens out Jersey-ed Jersey by stealing $95,000 from the Eastchester Little League. McLaughlin also pocketed more than $2 million in taxpayer funds and he is presently serving a 10-year federal prison term.









The Late Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio

Seminerio got an 11- to 14-year term for shaking down various businesses and nonprofit groups for over $1 million in “consulting fees.” His victims included Jamaica Hospital.”You tell me what you want and I’ll take care of you,” Seminerio was recorded as saying.


Efrain Gonzalez
Sentenced Tuesday to seven years in federal prison after his guilty plea to stealing funding from a Bronx nonprofit.

Miguel Martinez

Miguel Martinez, Ex-Councilman in New York, Gets 5 Years in Theft

Clarence Norman Sentenced To Additional Time In Jail – NY1.com

State Assemblywoman Diane M. Gordon of Brooklyn was convicted on Tuesday of receiving a bribe for offering to help a developer acquire a parcel of city-owned land in her district if he would build her a free house in a gated community in Queens.

Ray Harding Liberal Party Leader

Raymond B. Harding Pleads Guilty in Pension Fund Corruption

Raymond Harding — onetime chair of the now-defunct Liberal Party — to collect $800,000 in illegal fees as part of a sham pension-fund transaction in return for political fixes favoring both Hevesi and his son DRAINING THE SWAMP

Former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno convicted on 2 of 8

Former Senator Guy Velella: Convicted Felon, $80000-A-Year Public

Former State Sen. Hiram Monserrate of Queens became the first legislator in 90 years to actually be removed by the Legislature for wrongdoing. He was voted out last year after being convicted of misdemeanor assault related to a 2008 fight with his girlfriend, whose face was slashed with a glass.

Sen. John Sabini (D) was appointed head of the State Racing and Wagering Board because of concerns that he would not win re-election after pleading guilty to drunken driving charges in 2008.

Sen. Ada Smith (D) lost primary election in 2006 after being found guilty of harassment; she was accused of throwing coffee in a staffer’s face at her Albany office. She was censured by then-Senate Minority Leader David Paterson for “a pattern of inappropriate, unprofessional and often abusive behavior.”

Assemblyman Roger Green (D) pleaded guilty to two counts of petty larceny and one count of filing a false instrument (false billing of Assembly travel expenses) stemming from Albany County District Attorney investigation, then briefly resigned from office after being asked to resign by Mr. Silver. He ran for reelection, however, in November 2004 and won. In 2006, he unsuccessfully ran for Congress.

Assemblywoman Gloria Davis (D) resigned in 2003 after pleading guilty to taking bribes—the result of a Manhattan District Attorney investigation.

1. Hiram Former Chief of Staff

Hiram and Julissa (NY Civic) * Group Spent City’s Money, but Has Not Shown How(NYT)


2. More Member Item Slush

A charity tied to Bronx Assemblyman Peter Rivera, which he helped get nearly $2.2 million in state money, is under federal investigation, as is a group linked to Assemblyman Vito Lopez.

3. Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez Is Said to Investigated – NYTimes.com

Everything on Vito Lopez

Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez, a long-serving Brooklyn Democratic leader who is widely viewed as the borough’s patronage king, is at the center of two separate federal investigations, according to several people briefed on the matter. A third inquiry, by the city’s Department of Investigation, those people said, is focused on a network of nonprofit groups controlled by Vito Lopez

4. More Member Item Slush

Assemblywoman Vivian Cook’s group, the Rockaway Boulevard Local Development Corp., shut its doors last year after The Post detailed its wasteful spending of $2.5 million in Port Authority money designated to spruce up a stretch of Rockaway Boulevard. It is now under a federal probe.

Two For One

Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo on radar in slush probe (DN) * Relative of 2 city officials admits to embezzlement – News12.com

7. 8. More Member Item Slush

State Sen. Malcolm Smith and US Rep. Gregory Meeks are under a federal probe for their ties to a charity they helped form called the New Direction Local Development Corp. Smith funneled more than $56,000 in taxpayer cash to the Springfield Gardens group, which never fully accounted for its spending.

More Member Item Slush

‘Non’profiteers For Qns. pols, better to receive than give(NYP)

Before she even got to Albany, Shirley Huntley knew the drill. Eight months before she was elected to the state Senate from Jamaica, Huntley founded a nonprofit called The Parent Workshop out of her home. Huntley listed herself as president. Once in Albany, Huntley steered $30,000 to the charity, then run by an old friend. Then she tried to give it another $125,000 in pork-barrel money, her largest so-called member item in two years.

On April 28 the Council Slush Fund Investigation Enters Its Forth Year

Its 1057 Days Since the City Council Hired Lawyers To Defend Themselves From Member Items Slush Fund Crimes

* Entire City Council That Was In Office On April 28, 2009

Politicians in New York City and Albany really enjoy giving away the public’s money and making it seem like their own largess. As the latest news out of the New York City Council attests, these grants are, at best, a political trick intended to buy voter loyalty. At worst, they have led to outright theft.” (April 29, 2008, NYT Editorial)

Lawyers for Council Seen as a Departure (The Sun) * CITY TO PAY FOR COUNCIL’S LAWYERS – New York Post * Common Cause Blog :: Slush Fund Follies in New York * wcbstv.com – NYC Taxpayers Petition For Slush Fund Inquiry * Lobbyists’ Role in Council Slush Fund Scandal Probed – June 20 … * BLOOMBERG HAS HIS OWN SLUSH FUND – New York Post* Phony Allocations by City Council Reported – New York Times * New York’s Slush Addiction – New York Times – Editorial * SLUSH-FUND SHENANIGANS – NY Post Editorial * QUINN: SLUSH FUND HELPED ME – New York Post

City Council Sleaze Week

It’s been a week of seedy news from the New York City Council.

Most of the misconduct charges involve continuing offenses, cheating the city, ignoring personal debts, failing to file documents, making false and misleading statements, and misrepresenting addresses in order get tax reductions, affordable housing or district residency.

They’re not major crimes, but the self-indulgence and lack of professionalism they reveal is completely inappropriate for elected public officials.

One longtime observer of the scene says we should expect nothing less from the city’s machine-dominated politics.

What about the Council’s own Committee on Standards and Ethics? Well, let’s take a look at Inez Dickens, who chairs the committee.

Dickens gets a double lulu of $15,000 a year as assistant majority leader and chair of Standards and Ethics — on top of her $112,500 salary and her undisclosed income from the buildings she owns in Harlem. So go figure how she could be $100,000 in arrears on the property taxes on her real estate.

She’s been cited in numerous building and housing court complaints, and has allegedly hidden income on property she inherited from her late father, former Assemblyman and New York State Supreme Court Justice Lloyd E. Dickens.

It’s been three years since the Slush Fund Scandal of 2008, in which Council leaders allocated millions of dollars to fictitious organizations that Speaker Christine Quinn called placeholders, and lawyered up when the news hit the tabs.

Tens of millions of dollars a year go into “member items”, which the Council is supposed to give to nonprofit, community based, grassroots social services organizations. “Member items” have become the speaker’s patronage pot, ladled out to pet organizations, council members who play ball with the speaker, favored relatives, and pay-to-play “partners”.

Member items keep the troops in line, rewarding the “good” ones with big money and the “bad” ones with none.

All links are to the Daily News:

SUNDAY, MARCH 20

MONDAY, MARCH 21

TUESDAY, MARCH 22

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23

THURSDAY, MARCH 24

The Dishonor Role; All the Dirt On the 29 Council Members Who Voted to Extend Term Limits

Big reason NY legislators leave office? Corruption(CrainsNY)

Inspector Clouseau Investigates Ruben Wills

Committee begins probe on Queens Councilman Ruben Wills after News reveals two misdemeanors (DN)

WNBC Candidates Kept Unspent Public Campaign $$$

Candidates Who Take Public Funds Rarely Pay Back Taxpayers

Where’s the Money Going? (Video)

Council Member Inez Dickens spent $7,292 to pay fines associated with her campaign posters. So far, she has paid no public matching funds back.

After Bill de Blasio won the public advocate election, he used surplus campaign funds to pay for nine parking tickets and a $1,083 trip to Puerto Rico. So far, he has not paid back any of the $2.2 million dollars in matching funds he received in 2009.

John Liu, who won the race for comptroller, spent more than $20,000 on three volunteer and victory dinners. According to Campaign Finance Board rules, candidates are only allowed to use public matching funds for one, small post-election volunteer party. Liu’s campaign told NBC New York the parties were financed with private donations.

Bloomberg, Thompson spent $5,219 to feed political donors at Francesco & Giovanni’s Pine restaurant in the Bronx. Thompson has not paid back any of the more than $3 million in public funds his campaign received from taxpayers.
Judge Encourages CFB Users To Spend the Money Quicky
In February, a three-judge appellate division panel found the city can only force a candidate to pay back taxpayers if there is money left in his or her campaign account. The ruling was a decision in favor of former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2005. The CFB alleged Fields improperly spent $61,000 on improper post-election expenses

U.S. Attorney: Lawmakers Do Not Appear to Learn

“When prosecutors charge politicians, it shouldn’t seem like a scene from ‘Groundhog Day’ — and yet it does,” said US Attorney Preet Bharara. The Albany rackets (NYP Ed) “It seems that no matter how many times the alarm goes off, Albany just hits the snooze button,” Bharara Bharara cited the many state lawmakers indicted by the feds in recent years: Sens. Vincent Leibell (R-Hudson Valley), Pedro Espada (D-Bronx), Hiram Monserrate (D-Queens), Efrain Gonzalez (D-Bronx), Queens Assemblymen Brian McLaughlin and Anthony Seminerio . . . * Capitol Confidential » Bharara: Stop hitting the snooze button, Albany (TU)

Is Seabrook Still Ordering Bagels?

Indicted pol posts no bills Adding to the long list of his other ignominious feats, indicted City Councilman Larry Seabrook (D-Bronx) managed to collect a $112,500 salary last year without introducing a single piece of legislation * Bronx Political Chatter: Cash and Carry Larry Still Getting Paid (Bronx Politic Chatter)

Daily News: If Councilmembers Can’t Manage Themselves How Can They Manage the City?

Several City Council members struggle with own finances, high debt, home foreclosure (DN)

The City Council manages your tax dollars through the city budget, but for some lawmakers, managing their own money has been a disaster.

HOME FORECLOSURES

The homes of Queens Councilmen James Sanders, a Democrat, and Daniel Halloran, a Republican, are now in foreclosure.

PERSONAL BANKRUPTCY
Two years before her first Council run in March 2001, Elizabeth Crowley (D-Queens) emerged from personal bankruptcy.
CREDIT CARD DEBT
Councilman Oliver Koppell (D-Bronx) admits that in 2009 he had about $270,000 in credit card debt. Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez (D-Brooklyn) was sued in January 2010 over $2,857 in Citibank credit card debt.

City to probe how B’klyn Dem Erik Dilan got cheap apartment when income was over the limit

Wife weeps as Hevesi aide Morris sent to jail for pension-fund scam (NYP)

“The evil effect is obvious,” state Supreme Court Justice Lewis Bart Stone said of Morris’ pay-to-play pension fund scheme (NYT)

Judge the Councilman Needs More Time to Clean Up His Legal Problems

NYC Councilman Ruben Wills To Court: I Need More Time To Clean Up My Legal Problems

Court: Ruben Wills wore a NYC Council pin during his court appearance.

On the FBI tapes, the late Assemblyman Seminerio was heard offering his own cynical epitaph: “What the f – – – does it mean that we’re elected officials?” he said. “It doesn’t mean s – – -.”

Feds Want Huntley to Rat on A Mess of Pols

Fed probers demand Qns. pol’s pork files Federal probers are focusing on Queens Senator Shirley Huntley under investigation for steering hundreds of thousands of public dollars to not-for-profit groups with ties to her family and friends. The probes focus on fraudulent distribution of member-item monies, the aborted Aqueduct/AEG casino contract in 2010 involving then-Gov. David Paterson and then-Senate Democratic leaders John Sampson of Brooklyn and Malcolm Smith of Queens, and, of course, charges of individual bribe taking by lawmakers like those brought in March by federal prosecutors against Sen. Carl Kruger.(NYP)

Candidates No Longer Personally Liable For Wasting Matching Funds, Thanks To New Court Decision (CHN)

If NY is Hit With A Nuclear Bomb All That Will Be Left Are Roaches and Lobbyists

Teflon Man

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara accused Lipsky of funneling $252,000 from clients as bribes into the pockets of Brooklyn Democratic Sen. Carl Kruger, who was charged with a wide range of corrupt activities.

The Slow And Quiet Return Of Richard Lipsky(CHN)

Lobbying reports on file with the city and state show Lipsky billed at least $28,500 to three clients in March and April. Even if Lipsky is convicted, he may still be able to fall back on his connections: While felons are barred from voting in New York state, they are free to work as registered lobbyists. Former Bronx Sen. Guy Velella worked as a lobbyist after he was released from prison on corruption charges.

Time to Rat Carl Kruger to Limit Jail Time

One corruption trial for Brooklyn state Sen. Carl Kruger: judge(NYP)

Candidates spent matching funds on trips and parties

Jacobs Uncertain Of Future as State Dem Chair(NYO)

On December 6th True News Said Jacobs Will Go

NYS Democratic Leader Jay Jacobs Will Have To Go Part II

Pay to Play Boyland Almost Played Out

Ethics Commission Finds ‘Reasonable Cause’ For Boyland(YNN)

Workers Lose Benefits While Pol Pays to Play A Hospital

CYA: State Ethic Board Acts Only After Feds Indict

Brookdale Hospital Workers Protest Loss of Health Care while boyland violated state ethics laws by being on the payroll of Brookdale Hospital while also seeking to win them state money. * Indicted B’klyn pol hit with ethics rap(NYP) * The Legislative Ethics Commission’s timing was questioned.

Gov. Cuomo forced by ethics-challenged lawmakers to use indirect ways of tracking private incomes(NYDN Ed)

SUNY Big Out For Bruno’s Daughter No-Show

Under Scrutiny, Official at State University Resigns The official, John J. O’Connor, was accused of giving a no-show job to the daughter of the former Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno. (NYT) * ‘Brunogate’ SUNY big out(NYP)


Pork Pig Fidler Games the Campaign Finance System Again and Again

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Brooklyn Councilman Lew Fidler gamed the campaign finance system for $88,550 in taxpayer money(NYDN)

Fidler did the same thing in 2003

Fidler Campaign Paid Brandford Almost 70,000 in 2003 When He got 87% of the vote and $82,500 from the CFB

Pork Pig Fidler’s Media Friends Put Lipstick On Him

Gov. Cuomo forced by ethics-challenged lawmakers to use indirect ways of tracking private incomes(NYDN Ed)

$7.4 billion in contracts for clients of lawfirms that employee legislators

Show Me the Money

Albany Money Flows to Clients of Legislators’ Firms A new ethics law will require disclosures on outside work by New York State lawmakers who also work as lawyers.(NYT)

Queens city councilman Ruben Wills acknowledges outstanding arrest warrants

Ruben Doing Great Politically

Primary challengers are starting to emerge for City Councilman Ruben Wills, who won a special election last year but must run for re-election this fall. Clifton Stanley Diaz, president of the Rochdale Village Civic Association, created a Council campaign committee June 13; former Councilman Allan Jennings, a longtime Wills nemesis, created an account May 25. But neither is likely to have the formal support of Rep. Greg Meeks, who strongly backed Wills’ opponent Nicole Paultre-Bell in 2010. Sources who were at the April 28 meeting of the Guy R. Brewer Democratic Club say Meeks buried the hatchet and endorsed Wills there

Councilwoman Dickens shouted, “My constituents don’t care about this issue!”

On March 16, The News contacted Dickens about more than $100,000 the city listed as outstanding property taxes on four buildings she owns with her sister, Delores, in Harlem. As the exchange escalated, another Council member in the elevator, Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn), began singing the famed “Mister Rogers” theme, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.” Harlem Councilwoman Inez Dickens pays more than $40,000 in back taxes after News grilling (NYDN)

Pols ‘give away’ land for donations(NYP)

A Senator That Steals From Hospitals Talks About Integrity . . . The Seals Applaud

“The rights and the freedoms that this Empire State has built its integrity and reputation on should live forever. I vote yes.” – Carl Kruger

Carl Kruger switched vote after the angry gay nephew of his companion cut off contact with them.(NYT)

Will Another Councilman Be Locked Up?

Councilman Ruben Wills facing jail time over 1996 larceny(NYDN)

Councilwoman Dickens shouted, “My constituents don’t care about this issue!”

On March 16, The News contacted Dickens about more than $100,000 the city listed as outstanding property taxes on four buildings she owns with her sister, Delores, in Harlem. As the exchange escalated, another Council member in the elevator, Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn), began singing the famed “Mister Rogers” theme, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.” Harlem Councilwoman Inez Dickens pays more than $40,000 in back taxes after News grilling (NYDN)

Despite facing corruption charges, Bronx Councilman Larry Seabrook is slated to receive about $362,000 in member item money from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn this year

CM Seabrook under Indicted for Stealing Member Items Hands Out More Funds This Year

Seabrook, a Bronx Democrat who has pleaded not guilty, has asked that nearly $400,000 in total be directed to 13 organizations in the fiscal year that begins Friday, records showed. The funds are a fraction of the nearly $50 million in so-called “member items”—derided by critics as “pork”—that the council plans to …Indicted Councilman Hands Out Cash(WSJ)

Boyland Meltdown Continues
State Assemblyman William Boyland (D-Brooklyn) drove past a prayer vigil for Kira Goddard, 13 a little girl mowed down by an out-of-control SUV, Sunday night, honked his car horn, and waved toward mourners without stopping and paying respect.

Seabrook and Barron Missing

Councilmen Larry Seabrook of the Bronx and Charles Barron of Brooklyn have the worst attendance records in the City Council, missing more than a quarter of the sessions required in their $112,500 jobs(NYDN)

Pol David Greenfield raked in 300G salary as nonprofit boss(NYP)

Why Do the Crooks In Albany Spend More Than Everyone Else?

Are the So Called Reformer Sleeping?

Pedro $uper payout to staff Espada spent more state taxpayer cash on his employees in the last three months of 2010 — an as tounding $749,803 — than any other senator spent over the entire six-month reporting period, from October 2010 through March 2011, Senate records released yesterday show. The second top spender in the Senate, Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn), who faces criminal charges of his own, doled out $558,840 to his staff for six months of work.* Espada’s last $ fling and other Senate details(TU)

McLaughlin Still Stiffing the Little Leagures and Others $$$

Feds yet to dole out cash to victims jailed pol Brian McLaughlin promised to repay(NYDN) * Disgraced former Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin still owes some $845,000 in court-ordered restitution to the people whose taxpayer-funded member items he stole.

The End of the Line for Espada Health Biz

$10M Medicaid slap for Espada health biz(NYP)


CM Dickens: Saving Money for the City Does Not Begin At Home

Of the $15 million allocated to City Council offices, just $303,733 was returned to the city treasury last month

Each councilmember receives $292,336 to operate a constituent services office

City pol$ beat the clock Spend ‘surplus’ * With $12,000 still left in her district office account on June 30, the final day of the fiscal year, Councilwoman Inez Dickens (D-Manhattan) proceeded to dispense bonuses to her staff.

Bribe bust $pooks Queens pols

If the police have no witnesses or suspects how do they know the shots were random?

Shot That Hit Assemblyman’s Vehicle Was Random, Police Think(NYT) * Pol’s lucky duck(NYP)

Espada Trying Going Out As A Street Fighter to The End

Hasta la vista, baby Took long enough! Disgraced ex-state Sen. Pedro Espada is finally kicked off Medicaid gravy train (NYDN Ed) * Shutting Espada’s ATM(NYP Ed) * Former Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. vowed to go to court to try to block Cuomo’s “political terrorism” (in other words, his effort to shutdown the Soundview health clinics). * Even as he was under investigation for misusing funds from Soundview, Espada got a new contract from the health network’s board. * The DOH is working to provide Soundview patients with “suitable options” in the event the clinic does close.

Daily News Reports Forces Feds to Seize McLaughlin Accounts to Pay Back the Little League and Others

Federal prosecutors have belatedly seized $285,000 from former Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin’s campaign account to help repay $845,000 he stole from his victims, including a local Little League, the Daily News reports

Reelected A Criminal Defendant For City Council

Charges Upend Council Race Hours before City Council Member Ruben Wills cast votes at a council meeting Wednesday, he appeared before a Manhattan judge as a criminal defendant accused of stealing. (WSJ) * City Council: “He has no regard for the law, and this is a person who wants to be a lawmaker,” challenger Allan Jennings said of Councilman Ruben Wills. [Michael Saul / WSJ]

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