Rep. Meeks Blames NLPC for Ethics Woes
In 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:
They're all inaccurate. It's the New York Post... I've never been investigated. I am not under investigation. I've never been questioned.
Later in the interview, Meeks renewed his assault on NLPC:
David Price: ...I think the concern to a lot of people is that there's a track record of investigation, maybe you can help clear up some of the background information here: 2007 House Ethics Committee has an ongoing investigation into a $40,000 payment you received from Edul Ahmad, not reported on your financial disclosure form. 2010: Investigation into New Directions Local Development Corporation, an organization you founded, the group raised money for Hurricane Katrina. The complaint was very little money made it to the victims..There's a history here, how do you account for all of the smoke and there isn't a fire?
Meeks: Let's look at it because I've seen this playbook played before. Um, there's a group called the NLPC, who works very closely with the New York Post. That is clear, I've got a letter that showed with other Democrats that they're in the business of trying to bring down Democrats. Uh, and what they say is, what we do is we have an agreement with the Post and we'll keep things out there.
Rosanna Scotto: But the House Ethics Committee is looking into this. They don't have anything to do with the Post.
Meeks: What happens is, this same group, the NLPC, what they do is, they send the complaint to the House Ethics Committee and say, "We want you to look into this." So the House Ethics Committee, based upon the complaint that was put out there by this group, the NLPC, that is what springs it on, and then the House Ethics Committee does a review. I welcome the House Ethics Committee and I'm sure that if I'm treated like everyone is treated, there's nothing to it. What happened was, when I realized and I saw the playbook, in which, I'll show it to you, that they've gone against other members, when I realized that, I did not put on my report doing that committee, doing that reporting period, that I [had a loan]. I, as any member does, amended my financial disclosure form, and put it on there that I had a loan, there's no problem with that. The ethics committee will review it as they have done other members that have left something off of a report.
Rosanna Scotto: Yeah, like Charlie Rangel. You know how that ended.
Meeks reportedly came under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in New York in 2010 after NLPC exposed his relationship with another nonprofit called New Direction Local Development Corporation. The group raised money for Hurricane Katrina victims who never received the assistance.
After the investigation reportedly commenced, Meeks amended his financial disclosure statement in 2010 to show an unsecured $40,000 personal loan from Guyanese businessman Edul Ahmad in 2007. Ahmad was arrested in 2011 in a $50 million mortgage fraud scheme. Meeks' failure to disclose the loan is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.
Meeks public ire with NLPC is nothing new. In January, he said that he wants to "go after" our nonprofit tax status. In July 2011, he defended the secret Ahmad loan and blamed us for the controversy. In March 2010, Meeks blamed NLPC for scrutiny of his high living detailed by the New York Times.