From the Daily News:
Senate President Malcolm Smith ripped off an elderly Queens couple he'd promised to build a dream house for in a land deal under scrutiny by the FBI, the Daily News has learned.
Cora Wheeling, 70, and her husband, Eddie, 71, wound up with no home to show for the $88,200 they put down toward a split-level Smith claimed he'd build them.
They sued in 1998; Smith still owes them more than $60,000.
"I didn't know he's a rat," an irate Cora Wheeling said. "I should have known better."
The house was supposed to be part of a subdivision Smith was trying to build on 230th St. in Cambria Heights. That deal is at the center of an expanding federal probe, sources said.
The FBI is also looking at why Smith got a steep discount from an architect hired for a job at that same address. The architect then got work at nonprofits Smith has funded with taxpayer dollars.
Investigators want to know if Smith used his influence as an elected official to benefit himself financially, a possibly criminal conflict of interest.
From the NY Post:
A do-nothing Brooklyn charity created with the help of state Sen. Kevin Parker used most of the $18,750 in taxpayer funds he steered to it to hire the brother of his chief-of-staff as a "planning consultant."
The only community program the Building Blocks Local Development Corp. managed to implement since it was created in 2004 was a part-time vegetable stand staffed by local teens at a farmers market on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn.
Parker has been uncharacteristically mum on Building Blocks, which has no office or discernible staff and only sporadically filed IRS forms designed to provide accountability of its spending.
That didn't stop Parker from trying to fund the organization -- authorizing $75,000 in pork-barrel money in five separate member-item grants since 2004.
From the NY Post:
A hospital group linked to an influence-peddling scandal in Albany put three members of a prominent family of Brooklyn politicians on its payroll, records and e-mails obtained by The Post show.
Prosecutors say MediSys Health Network, which runs Jamaica, Flushing and Brookdale hospitals and other ventures, gave $390,000 in "corrupt payments" to crooked ex-Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio's bogus consulting firm for help with government funding and acquisition of hospitals.
It also paid three members of the Boyland family, a force in central Brooklyn politics for decades:
* Assemblyman William F. Boyland Jr., a Democrat who represents Brownsville, was a "patient recruiter" for the MediSys-managed Brookdale Medical Center for years while helping the hospitals get state grants and lobbying for the network.
* His father, former Assemblyman William F. Boyland Sr., spent years on Brookdale's payroll, doing "public outreach."
"I improved the image of the hospital and tried to get patients to go there," he told The Post. He said he "retired" last June, the same month Seminerio pleaded guilty to fraud.
* Boyland Jr.'s sister, former City Councilwoman Tracy Boyland, helped Brookdale get $2.6 million in grants when she represented Brownsville. After leaving office in 2005, she was hired by Neighborhood Health Providers, a MediSys health-insurance company. She did not return calls.
The US Attorney's Office said only that its probe stemming from the Seminerio case is ongoing.
From the NY Post:
State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr., already slapped with two lawsuits over alleged corruption at his Bronx health centers, may still be on the hot seat for Medicaid fraud.
State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit asked for patient records from the Bronx Democrat's Soundview HealthCare Network, according to an October letter sent to Espada and included in court records.
The letter requests the "entire treatment history" and original charts for 259 patients.
One of those patients, Alfreda Alston, 54, of The Bronx, made repeated trips to the Soundview dental clinic over a year -- all paid for through Medicaid. Despite X-rays and exams, the staff could find nothing wrong with Alston's aching tooth, according to her daughter, Alfreda Jones.
Alston finally went to another dentist who fixed the ailment with a simple extraction.