Brooklyn pol reports $1.65M income from firm he left in 2012 | New York Post

NY Post reports (7/25):

His 2016 financial-disclosure report reveals he received $1.65 million in contingency fees last year from a Manhattan personal-injury firm, Godosky and Gentile, even though he left the firm in December 2012 after his election to the House.

The Democrat worked “of counsel” for the firm for six years while serving as a state assemblyman. A Post search of court records could not find a case in which Jeffries was listed as an attorney of record for personal-injury cases.

His financial statement spells out a “termination of of counsel agreement” with the firm that allows him to receive contingency fees in 10 cases that were “resolved favorably,” resulting in settlements or verdicts.

Jeffries insisted he did real work on cases.

“There were a number of cases I worked on that were not resolved when I left,” he said. “These were cases I participated in, in a variety of ways.”

http://nypost.com/2016/07/25/brooklyn-pol-reports-1-65m-income-from-firm-he-left-in-2012/

Michael Benjamin
@SquarePegDem
862-232-4085

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Even The Speaker Smells A Rat In Team DE Blasio Coverup | NY Post

You know City Hall has crossed the line when even City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is squawking — as she is over Mayor de Blasio’s stonewall over the Rivington St. nursing-home flip.

At a press conference calling for new rules for lifting deed restrictions like the one in that now-notorious case, the speaker called it “very troubling” that the mayor’s office impeded the Department of Investigation’s probe of the affair.

“It’s very clear what the authority of DOI is. [It] is to have full access to documents — so that is a concern,” said Mark-Viverito.

It sure is. What is the mayor hiding?

After all, what DOI did uncover already shows he’s a liar. When word of the flip hit the press, he claimed City Hall had been blindsided by the news — yet The Post uncovered proof that two deputy mayors had been all over the deal.

He also insisted he first learned of the flip from the papers — yet DOI produced a memo showing he’d been briefed on it.

What else is to be learned from the documents and electronic devices that de Blasio’s Law Department refused to let DOI ininspect?

And why did DOI take “no” for an answer?

Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens) has a point: DOI chief Mark Peters — who was the finance chairman of de Blasio’s 2013 campaign — should resign if he won’t pursue legal action to get that “full access.”

US Attorney Preet Bharara, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Manhattan DA Cy Vance have no doubt taken notice and are drafting subpoenas to take possession of the possibly incriminating information.

If DOI won’t get the job done, it falls to prosecutors to get to the bottom of the Rivington swindle.

http://nypost.com/2016/07/20/even-the-speaker-smells-a-rat-in-team-de-blasios-coverup/

Michael Benjamin
@SquarePegDem

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Q Poll: Cuomo Shares Corruption Blame | POLITICO New York

THE LATEST NUMBERS – POLITICO New York’s Nick Niedzwiadek:

By an overwhelming majority, New Yorkers believe government corruption is a problem in the state and nearly half of those surveyed think Gov. Andrew Cuomo is partly to blame, a new poll has found. According to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, 87 percent of those questioned said government corruption is a serious problem in the state. Asked about the state of ethics in government, 48 percent said Cuomo was part of the problem while just 36 percent thought he was part of the solution. Still, Cuomo’s job approval rating stands at 50 percent, virtually unchanged from an April 4 Quinnipiac poll in which his approval rating was 51 percent.
http://politi.co/29Nje56

Michael Benjamin
@SquarePegDem

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The Dangerous Double Standard for People of Color Playing Pokémon Go | Mic.com

‘Pokémon Go’ is all the rage — but there’s a dark side.

If you’re like us, you probably spent the weekend running around catching Pokémon via your smartphone. The app may be more popular than WhatsApp, Snapchat and Instagram, but it’s not all fun and games. Criminals have been using the game’s geolocation ability to lure players to an isolated area to rob them — and users of color are being targeted by the police.

https://m.mic.com/articles/148367/the-dangerous-double-standard-for-people-of-color-playing-pok-mon-go?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=miccheck&bt_email=mbenjamin@thebronxchronicle.com&bt_ts=1468273027735#.H4CbYNrFL

Michael Benjamin
@SquarePegDem
862-232-4085

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Hearings began for former New Mexico state Senator Phil Griego (D).

On Tuesday, July 5, hearings began for former New Mexico state Senator Phil Griego (D). Griego, who served from 1996 to 2015, is facing nine criminal charges, including three counts of fraud; one count each of perjury, tampering with public records, financial disclosure violations, and bribery and solicitation; and two counts of "violating the ethical principles of public service." These charges were the result of a complaint that Griego received over $50,000 in the sale of a state-owned building but did not disclose that information. Griego pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Michael Benjamin
@SquarePegDem

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Like Hiillary de Blasio gets a pass on sleazy behavior | NY Post Editorial

New Yorkers got yet more proof this week that their political system is rigged.

A day after FBI Director James Comey slammed Clinton for breaking the law but gave her a pass anyway, the city Campaign Finance Board on Wednesday similarly bashed Mayor de Blasio and his pet nonprofit — but then let them skate.

No wonder average Joes think laws apply to them, but not the politically powerful.

At issue in the mayor’s case were his ties to the Campaign for One New York, its spending to promote his agenda (and indirectly, him) and the donations it received.

Candidates’ campaigns are subject to tight limits on donations and spending. Individual gifts are capped at $4,950; spending in off years can’t top $328,000.

CONY donations dwarfed those limits. And the group spent $4 million since 2013.

The CFB found CONY wasn’t “independent” of de Blasio but failed to find enough evidence of coordination. It also said CONY shut down well before the 2017 elections. For those reasons, it opted not to penalize de Blasio’s 2017 campaign.

http://nypost.com/2016/07/07/like-hillary-de-blasio-gets-a-pass-on-sleazy-behavior/

Michael Benjamin
@SquarePegDem
862-232-4085

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Report: Corrine Brown Indicted on Federal Charges | Morning Consult

Report: Florida Democrat to Face Federal Charges
JON REID | JULY 7, 2016

A local Florida TV station reports that Rep. Corrine Brown has been indicted on federal charges likely related to allegations that the Florida Democrat benefitted financially from an unregistered charity.

The Florida Democrat is set to appear before a federal magistrate judge on Friday afternoon, according to First Coast News.

In March, House Ethics Committee members said they would defer to the Justice Department on their investigation of “allegations that she may have conspired with other persons in connection with fraudulent activity, improperly solicited charitable donations, used campaign funds for personal purposes, used official resources for impermissible non-official purposes, failed to comply with tax laws, and made false statements, and/or failed to make required disclosures, to the House of Representatives and Federal Election Commission.”

https://morningconsult.com/alert/report-brown-indicted-federal-charges/

Michael Benjamin
@SquarePegDem
862-232-4085

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Campaign Finance Board to examine de Blasio’s nonprofit — NY Post

Campaign Finance Board to examine de Blasio’s nonprofit — NY Post’s Michael Gartland:

"The city’s Campaign Finance Board is expected Wednesday to take up the question of whether nonprofits aligned with Mayor de Blasio have circumvented campaign fund-raising and spending rules. The Campaign for One New York, which is under investigation by the feds and Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr., has raised more than $4 million since 2014. It is now inactive. In February, Common Cause asked the CFB and the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board to review de Blasio’s "unprecedented" use of nonprofits to advance his agenda, arguing that they "spawned a shadow government." Unlike traditional campaign accounts, "issue-oriented" nonprofits have no limits on how much money they can collect and spend. The CFB released an agenda Tuesday saying it would take up "the matter of Campaign for One New York and United for Affordable NYC" and candidates cooperating with "issue advocacy" organizations." http://nyp.st/29g5sav

Michael Benjamin
@SquarePegDem

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Cuomo pal pleads not guilty to offering judge $10K in bribes | New York Post

A Democratic political operative who is a longtime ally of Gov. Cuomo pleaded not guilty Thursday to bribery and other charges filed in a New York corruption probe that led to the resignation of a state Supreme Court justice a day earlier.

G. Steven Pigeon was arraigned on a nine-count indictment that accuses him of offering favors and gifts worth more than $10,000 to Justice John Michalek, who pleaded guilty Wednesday to accepting bribes from 2012 to 2015 and is to be sentenced Sept. 21.

“Steve Pigeon engaged in a multiyear scheme to bribe a sitting state judge in an effort to win access and favors for clients and associates,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Pigeon, 55, was released on bond after surrendering his passport. His attorney, Paul Cambria, said Pigeon declined a plea offer .

“He vehemently denies any wrongdoing,” Cambria said.

http://nypost.com/2016/07/01/cuomo-pal-pleads-not-guilty-to-offering-judge-10k-in-bribes/

Michael Benjamin
@SquarePegDem

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The Culture of New York Politics Is As Ugly As Ever | NY Post Editorial

Gov. Cuomo has been claiming for years that he’s changing the “culture” in Albany. Sorry, gov: The news leaking out about the end-of-session “Big Ugly” package of bills says otherwise.

Indeed, the lack of change was blatant. Albany rammed through more bills in 24 hours than in all of January and February combined. During the whole session prior to the final days, the two houses had OK’d less than 200 bills. By the end, they’d passed 554.

And most bills were hammered out behind closed doors, without public scrutiny. The ethics bill passed in the dark of night.

http://nypost.com/2016/06/24/the-culture-of-new-york-politics-is-as-ugly-as-ever/

Michael Benjamin
@SquarePegDem

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