New Direction Local Development Corporation

NY State Sen. Shirley Huntley Says She Will Be Arrested; NLPC Exposed Her Sham Charity

Shriey Huntley photoNew York State Senator Shirley Huntley (D-Queens) announced on Saturday that she expects to be arrested on Monday on corruption charges. In March 2011, NLPC exposed a sham charity she founded called The Parent Workshop, to which she steered tens of thousands in taxpayer money.

According to the New York Times today:

She said she did not know the charges, but her announcement came months after one of her aides and three others were charged with stealing taxpayer money from a nonprofit group that Ms. Huntley founded.

Rep. Meeks Blames NLPC for Ethics Woes

MeeksIn an interview Tuesday on New York City's WNYW-TV, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) denied that he is under investigation by federal authorities, contradicting several previous reports by the New York Times, New York Post and New York Daily News.

The New York Post reported on Saturday that a nonprofit called the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation received subpoenas connected to a broader investigation of Meeks, who has steered millions in federal funds to the group.

As he has done in the past, Meeks attributed his woes to the New York Post and NLPC. Of the most recent reports, he told WNYW-TV reporters David Price and Rosanna Scotto:

Meeks Defends Secret Loans, Blames NLPC for Controversy

Meeks photoOn Saturday, Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) made the following statement:

Beginning at the height of the selection process for Aqueduct Racino development investors as I fought for local participation, and for the past several months, right-wing interest groups such as the National Legal and Policy Center and sensationalist media outlets have lodged unfounded attacks against me and other respectable members of the Queens community related to my family home and my involvement with New Direction Local Development Corporation.

What is Rep. Gregory Meeks Hiding?

Meeks photoRep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) is one of 31 House conferees appointed by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) on the financial regulation bill. When he was named on June 9, Meeks claimed:

As conferee I plan to make sure that by having a strong presence of financial oversight and accountability in this legislation U.S. consumers will have the necessary financial protection and be as financially informed as possible.

But now Meeks is using “oversight” in a different context. You see, when he failed to disclose $55,000 in personal loans as required, he called it an “oversight.” This excuse sounded downright familiar to us. It is the same one cited by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) when he failed to report hundreds of thousands in income and assets.

Ex-Rep. Floyd Flake, Cronies Get More Media Scrutiny

Floyd Flake photoRev. Floyd Flake, a former member of Congress, is a political force in Queens where he is the pastor of a 23,000-member church.  His protégés include U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks and state Senator Malcolm Smith, both under a grand jury investigation apparently triggered by NLPC’s expose of a charity called New Direction Local Development Corporation, and Meeks’ sweetheart deal on a home.

According to a story by Russ Buettner in yesterday’s New York Times, Flake and his partners ended up as owners of 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.”

Rep. Gregory Meeks Reports Subpoena to House

subpoena photoOn Tuesday, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) formally notified the House of Representatives that he had received a subpoena, as required by House rules. The subpoena was first reported by the New York Daily News on April 2 in the wake of our allegations that Meeks got a sweetheart deal on his house, and is involved with a charity that raised money for Hurricane Katrina victims who never saw it.

Did Meeks and/or Pelosi sit on the subpoena notification until after the March 21 health care vote? It depends on when Meeks got the subpoena. House Rule VIII states:

Grand Jury Probes Rep. Gregory Meeks’ Sweetheart House Deal

Meeks headshotAccording to the New York Daily News today, a federal grand jury is investigating some of Queens’ most prominent politicians, including Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY). NLPC first exposed Meeks’ involvement with a charity called New Direction that raised money for Hurricane Katrina victims who never received it. NLPC also first exposed Meeks’ purchase of a home for far less than it is worth.

In a Complaint to the House Ethics Committee filed on March 19, NLPC asked for an investigation of Meeks’ purchase of the house. The Complaint detailed how a contractor named Robert Gaskin not only built the home for Meeks, but also did work for several other Queens politicians and nonprofits they control. At the same time, Gaskin received numerous contracts on taxpayer-funded projects.

Rep. Gregory Meeks Attacks the Wrong Peter Flaherty

Meeks photoIn today’s Queens Chronicle, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) attacked NLPC as “a right-wing, inside-the-Beltway organization with an explicitly stated partisan agenda.” As evidence, Meeks claimed that I  “served as a top advisor to Mitt Romney during his presidential campaign.” The only problem is that Meeks got the wrong Peter Flaherty.

Maybe Meeks should learn how to aim before he fires. Or at least learn how to use Google. The Peter Flaherty who advised Romney is a principal in the Shawmut Group in Boston. He is a former assistant District Attorney in Suffolk County, and served as Vice-President of Walden Media, a film production studio. Flaherty worked as a senior advisor to Mitt Romney while he was governor, and held a senior position in his 2008 presidential campaign. He is also credited with helping to engineer Scott Brown's upset Senate win this year.

High-Living Congressman Meeks Blames NLPC for Scrutiny

According to a New York Times story today titled “Congressman Cries Poor, but Lifestyle May Disagree” by Eric Lipton and Ray Hernandez:

Money is so tight, Representative Gregory W. Meeks says, he does not have a savings account with more than a few thousand dollars in it. And yet Mr. Meeks, one of New York City’s most prominent Democrats, lives a life worthy of a jet-setter.

When he travels, he stays in luxury hotels like the Mondrian South Beach in Miami and the Ritz-Carlton in San Juan, P.R. He drives a Lexus, leased by the federal government, at a cost of $1,000 a month. He eats expensive meals at BLT Steak in Washington and Docks Oyster Bar in Manhattan, among other trendy spots.

Later in the Times article, Meeks attacks NLPC:

Doubts Cast on Rep. Meeks’ New Account of Missing Katrina Funds

Meeks Channel 1Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) has offered a second account of what happened to money he helped raise for Hurricane Katrina victims who apparently did not receive the aid. But this latest explanation — that it benefitted Katrina victims who came to New York City — is proving as flimsy as his original.

On New York’s Channel 1, Meeks was actually being interviewed about Rep. Charles Rangel’s downfall when the interviewer shifted gears to questions about the Katrina charity. Meeks has ducked interviews on the topic since NLPC first raised questions on January 31 about a nonprofit called New Direction Local Development Corporation, which sponsored an effort known as New Yorkers Organized to Assist Hurricane Families (NOAH-F). The “charity” is now being investigated by federal prosecutors.

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