Monday, September 17, 2012
Vito's trail of tweeding
From the Daily News:
Years before his political career imploded in a sexual harassment scandal, Brooklyn political boss Vito Lopez amassed power and loyalty by awarding supporters and their families with jobs, titles and with one of the most coveted perks in New York City: cheap housing.
Using his sway in the state Assembly, the Brooklyn Democratic Party and his influence over public agencies like the city Housing Authority, he hooked up friends, allies — and several elected officials.
Among the beneficiaries: City Councilwoman Diana Reyna who started her career in New York politics as a member of Lopez’s Assembly staff.
In 1997, while Reyna was working for Lopez, her sister, Melida Gonzalez, was selected through a lottery to buy a taxpayer-subsidized multi-family home in Bushwick for only $179,000. The house included a nice property tax break that will cut her bill nearly by 50% this year.
Other beneficiaries of Lopez’s power are Councilman Erik Dilan (D-Brooklyn) and his father, state Sen. Martin Dilan (D-Brooklyn) who have funneled millions of taxpayer dollars to Ridgewood-Bushwick and received devoted political support from Lopez.
Lopez also combined his power as Democratic Party boss with his control of Ridgewood-Bushwick to help put favored judges on the bench in Brooklyn. One way he does that is through delegates who pick judicial candidates at party conventions. A News review found at least 11 delegates who were also employed by Ridgewood-Bushwick.