From the Daily News:
A federal grand jury is zeroing in on some of Queens' most powerful political figures - including Senate President Malcolm Smith - the Daily News has learned.
Sources said the feds are investigating whether the Queens pols used a web of nonprofit groups to benefit themselves, their families and their friends.
The raft of documents the Manhattan-based panel wants involve:
- The Merrick Academy charter school - a source of campaign funds and patronage for Smith.
- A lavish home built for Rep. Gregory Meeks in Jamaica.
- A four-family house owned by Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.
One subpoena revealed for the first time that prosecutors are looking at the housing and social service empire built by the Rev. Floyd Flake - Meeks' predecessor in Congress and political mentor to Smith and Meeks.
The grand jury also wants records related to a Springfield Gardens commercial building owned by Joan Flowers, a politically active lawyer who has been campaign treasurer for Smith, Meeks and Gov. Paterson.
Flowers was "terminated" Wednesday from her $145,000-a-year Senate job as Smith's counsel. Although Senate officials said Flowers left of her own volition, sources told The News that Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson made it clear to Smith that it was time for Flowers to go.
The investigation is being conducted by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's public corruption office, sources say.
Among the documents being sought are work papers of Robert Gaskin, a Jamaica, Queens-based architect who has done work for several of the pols and many of the nonprofits they have funded.
Gaskin declined to comment.
Might I suggest adding Gary Ackerman and Claire Shulman to the investigations list? This Smith business is small potatoes compared to what those 2 are doing.