Homo-politico Christine Quinn finds herself in an unflattering spotlight this morning. New York Post reports that federal investigators are taking a closer look at the City Council Speaker’s book keeping. Records show that Quinn and her staff stuffed about $4.7 million into phony non-profits, thus saving the money for later, unspecified use.
From The Post:
The total amount set aside in 2007 and 2008 for the fake organizations – which are each listed by name in the city budget after being inserted at the council’s request – was $4.7 million. In the two years, 30 phantom groups were listed, council aides confirmed.
The money, in effect, became a slush fund for the speaker and was later used at Quinn’s discretion to reward groups that were loyal to her and to fund favored council members’ pet projects…
Quinn’s hardly the first city politico to move around money. City council sources told The Post that leaders have been doing it since 1988, because it insures that they have cash on hand as needs arise.
Quinn insists that she has always used city money for legitimate practices and, what’s more, tried to put an end to the shady savings after finding out about the fake organizations a few months ago. Her staffers, however, ignored her request: “I was kind of sick over the fact that there were things listed in the budget that were not accurate and that my instructions to the staff were disregarded.” Hoping to make the wrong right, Quinn turned over her books to city investigators. Regardless, the fact that it went on will no doubt complicate the politico’s likely mayoral run next year. And we bet the Post’s hoping it causes some harm.