From the Daily News:
The City Council’s new point person in overseeing the $50 billion municipal budget didn’t do such a hot job overseeing a nonprofit group at the center of a Council slush fund scandal, records show.
Julissa Ferreras, the Queens Democrat who was named Wednesday as chairwoman of Council’s Finance Committee, headed the board of directors of LIBRE, the Latino Initiative for Better Resources and Empowerment, when it was looted by then-Councilman Hiram Monserrate.
As a Council member, Monserrate steered $300,000 in city funding to LIBRE and then diverted $109,000 of the money to pay people to work on his campaign for the state Senate.
He later pleaded guilty to federal mail fraud and mail fraud conspiracy charges for the scam.
In addition to serving as Monserrate’s handpicked chairwoman of LIBRE’s board, Ferreras was chief of staff in Monserrate’s City Council office.
The Council’s Finance Committee is highly influential, with oversight of the city budget — making the committee’s chairmanship one of the most sought-after positions in the legislative body.
Ferreras’ ascension to the post was seen as a reward for bucking the Queens Democratic Party by backing Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito’s successful campaign for Council speaker.
Ferreras declined Thursday to answer questions by the Daily News about her role at LIBRE at the time of Monserrate’s wrongdoing.