City Council members steering millions of taxpayer dollars to groups outside of their districts are receiving campaign contributions from employees and board members of the groups they are giving the discretionary grants.
Council Members Gave Grants, Then Got Campaign Funds From Officers of Grant Recipients
As the slush fund scandal at City Hall has widened in recent weeks, council members have defended their use of public dollars to fund "member items," which they say allows them to bring services to their communities and support local nonprofits.
Council members running for higher office, however, are directing taxpayer dollars to organizations outside of their districts, enabling them to tap into new fund-raising networks and promote themselves across the city.
A council member who represents parts of Queens and is running for comptroller, David Weprin, for example, has collected thousands of dollars in donations linked to outside groups he has supported with tax dollars, according to a review by The New York Sun of the city's Campaign Finance Board database and the council's list of member items in a public document, Schedule C.
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