Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Friends of Vito making a mint

From the NY Post:

Doing good deeds can make you rich -- especially when you're pals with Brooklyn Democratic boss and state Assemblyman Vito Lopez.

In one year, Lopez's girlfriend and his campaign treasurer made just shy of a million bucks between them from a taxpayer-funded social-service center in Bushwick, according to tax records.

Christiana Fisher -- the center's director and Lopez's campaign treasurer -- pulled down $659,591 in "base compensation" over a 12-month period in 2008 and 2009 for working only 17.5 hours a week at Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, according to the filings.

That's an eye-popping 182 percent more than the $234,234 she made just two years earlier.

Angela Battaglia -- Lopez's longtime girlfriend and the senior center's housing director -- got $329,910 in "compensation" over the same period -- 73 percent more than the $190,609 she made two years earlier.

Fisher and Battaglia made an additional $26,384 and $13,196, respectively, at other connected but unnamed nonprofits, according to the IRS forms.

Five years ago, both had annual salaries of about $120,000 at the center, which serves thousands of residents and has 2,000 employees.

The group is the hub of Lopez's political machine, providing him with volunteers -- it's closed on Election Day so employees can do get-out-the-vote campaigns -- according to a book by sociologist Nicole Marwell.

Lopez, 69, a longtime assemblyman who became the Brooklyn Democratic boss in 2005, founded the seniors group in 1976, when he was a young city social worker.

Around that time, he met Battaglia, 57, a then-young Fordham University grad who volunteered at his center.

Battaglia is also a salaried City Planning commissioner.

Fisher's sister once worked for the seniors group before becoming a judge. Battaglia's brother is also a judge.

Lopez no longer has any official tie to the senior citizens group. But he steers plenty of money to it -- $335,000 in member items since 2009.

In one recent year, the group got $15.9 million in taxpayer money from nearly two dozen state and city agencies -- on top of $43 million in city contracts for elderly home care.


Snake Plissskin said...

And why has the 'Media Capital of the World' let this fester for years as they breathlessly give us tidbits of Miley and Kate and Opra?

Anonymous said...

I've said it before and i'll say it again.

Does any politician do anything other than line their pockets?

Anonymous said...