Based on documents provided by the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller today details the firing of a staff member of Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) after she reported a sexual assault at the physical therapy clinic owned by Joan Flowers, a close Meeks crony and donor.
Flowers has served as treasurer of Meeks’ campaign, as well as that of former New York Senate president Malcolm Smith, who is now in prison, and former Governor David Paterson.
From 2002 to 2008, Flowers’ law office was the address for something called the New Direction Local Development Corporation, which operated much like a slush fund for Meeks and Smith. Among other financial irregularities exposed by NLPC, New Direction raised funds for Hurricane Katrina victims who never got the money. Media coverage of New Direction prompted a series of overlapping investigations that have send a parade of New York politicians to jail.
Flowers also played a role in an apparent scam by former Rep. Floyd Flake, Meeks’ mentor, and now pastor of a mega-church. According to the New York Times, Flake and his partners bought from his own church two eight-story apartment buildings that were “built and subsidized with public money.” In addition, the 300 units were “well maintained by one of the church’s charities.”
The purchase required no cash investment from the partnership, and it was not open to bidding from others. The deal, which included plans for the renovations, was financed with $21.3 million in loans and cash from government programs intended to pay for the rehabilitation of apartment buildings for low-income elderly people. It is unclear how much of that work was ever accomplished.
The required approval, when a charity sells “substantially all” of its assets, by the New York Attorney General and the State Supreme Court in Queens went without a hitch.
The Times continues:
Joan E. Flowers, a Queens lawyer, filed the petition with the attorney general’s office on Nov. 9, 2006, two days after the election that elevated Mr. Spitzer and Mr. Paterson to governor and lieutenant governor. Ms. Flowers was at the time a consultant to Mr. Spitzer’s campaign and the treasurer for Mr. Paterson’s.
Two days later, Ms. Flowers filed the petition with the State Supreme Court in Queens. In a handwritten note, she requested an emergency decision.
Congressional watchdog groups have long regarded Meeks as the most corrupt member of the House. He very rarely misses out on any scandal, so it is only natural that he would now be caught up in the furor over sexual assault and harassment.