A nonprofit organization founded and represented by the chief political consultant of Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito saw its pork-barrel funding quadruple in a speaker's first budget, through a system that critics say remains politicized despite reforms.
Of the $1.3 million windfall allocated to the nonprofit Hispanic Federation in the city budget passed last Wednesday, more than $830,000 came from a newly created program funded by monies directly under Ms. Mark-Viverito's control. The lobbying firm that serves as her campaign consultant, the Manhattan-based MirRam Group, specifically lobbied lawmakers including Ms. Mark-Viverito to create the fund.
Luis Miranda, a founding partner of the MirRam Group, who is close to Ms. Mark-Viverito, founded the influential Hispanic Federation in 1990 and now serves as its paid lobbyist. The Hispanic Federation has also paid more than $680,000 for "consulting" to MirRam and a firm registered to Mr. Miranda and his wife, the New York Post reported in 2012.