Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cuomo greenlights payment to Vito

From the NY Post:

The city has quietly restored more than $12.5 million in contracts to the embattled social-services agency founded by Brooklyn Democratic leader Vito Lopez that had been held up for weeks pending a sign-off from the state Attorney General's Office, The Post has learned.

"The city began processing the contracts after receiving verbal confirmation from the [attorney general's] Charities Bureau that the [agency's] filings were up to date," said mayoral spokeswoman Jessica Scaperotti.

The contracts -- which cover programs from senior centers to homeless prevention -- were frozen on Sept. 20 as the city awaited a routine sign-off from the AG, which registers and oversees charities in the state.

The sign-off finally came on Sept. 27 -- but only by phone.

City officials waited weeks for a follow-up confirmation either by e-mail or letter, which would be the normal process. By mid-October, fretting that written approval would never arrive, the officials placed a second call to the AG and were again told that the agency, the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, had no outstanding paperwork issues.

That was enough for the mayor's office to proceed. It soon asked city Comptroller John Liu to register the delayed $12,538,232 in contracts, part of the $75 million that flows to the sprawling nonprofit from the city each year.

Cuomo says Vito is still under investigation.

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