Rep. Meeks Can’t Account for Hurricane Katrina Money; Puts Spotlight on Paterson/Flake Aqueduct Gambling Deal
No one knows anything. As NLPC exposed last Sunday, a charity with which Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) is deeply involved, can’t account for funds raised for Hurricane Katrina victims. According to a front-page New York Post story today, Meeks claims the money was used “to help displaced evacuees,” but neither he nor anyone else involved with group can or will say how.
The contoversy over Meeks’ group, called New Direction Local Development Corporation, is fuel for the firestorm surrounding the awarding by New York Governor David Paterson of a lucrative gambling franchise to Aqueduct Entertainment Group (AEG) in which former Rep. Floyd Flake is an “investor.” Days later, Paterson met with Flake to discuss his support for Paterson’s re-election campaign. According to the Post:
Floyd Flake is extremely valuable to AEG because of his political clout in both Queens and New York state," said Ken Boehm, chairman of National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group. "Now he appears to be dangling his support for the governor until AEG's bid is fully approved."
Flake’s protégés include Meeks and state Senator Malcolm Smith, another principal in New Directions. Smith’s former partner, a contractor name Darryl Green, is also involved in the AEG bid. Greene is a convicted felon who embezzled $500,000 from New York City. His wife was a founding director of New Direction.
The Post actually has three articles today on this corrupt political network. There is no good news for any of the participants. Flake, who is also a Protestant minister, makes over a $1 million per year between himself and his wife from his church and “charitable” work. Darryl Green, who was disbarred during the nineties, is affiliated with companies that owe New York state almost $1 million in back taxes. Greene and his wife also personally owe New York state $10,681 in back taxes, according to the Post.