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April 11, 2008

$17 Million Funneled into Faticious Organizations

$17M Go To Fake Groups

Approximately $17.4 million has been allocated to fake community groups. The practice precedes Quinn’s tenure, dating back to 2001, but peaked in 2007 with 18 ghost groups – such as the Coalition of Informed Individuals and Senior Citizens for Equality – receiving $4.5 million.

The New York Post was first to report the practice and Quinn immediately held a news conference last Thursday.
“I was obviously deeply troubled when I found out about this information,” Quinn said. “I had no knowledge of it; I did not know this was the practice. It’s something I believe is completely inappropriate and should not have gone on, and will no longer go on.”

Quinn became speaker in January 2006 and only discovered the fictitious organizations last fall. She said she then alerted the United States attorney’s office and the City’s Department of Investigation and hired an outside law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell.

City Comptroller Bill Thompson released the following statement: “The allegations reported today in The New York Post raise serious concerns. If there were any attempts to subvert the New York City Charter or to hide money in nonexistent organizations, these actions would represent a breach of the public trust.”

Queens Councilman David Weprin (D-Hollis), who chairs the finance committee, pointed out the Mayor’s role in the scandal.
Just when you thought you could trust Bloomie and his Billions. That is a lot of money that could have went to schools or improvement in the MTA.