After the head of a Queens nonprofit tied to former State Senator Shirley Huntley was arrested today, two council members reportedly under investigation sought to distance themselves from the case.
Neither Mark Weprin nor Leroy Comrie, whom insiders generally regard as above-the-board types, said they had been contacted by investigators, despite a New York Post story reporting that they were being probed.
“I have not been contacted by an investigative agency,” Mr. Comrie told Politicker after reading that he was being investigated by the Attorney General and State Comptroller for allocating money to an allegedly sham nonprofit. Read More
America may run on Dunkin’, but Comptroller Tom DiNapoli would like the donut chain to leave a smaller footprint.
Mr. DiNapoli is able to put pressure on corporations due to his role managing the state pension fund. According to his office, the fund has about $1.9 million in shares of Dunkin’ Donuts among its investments and Mr. DiNapoli issued a shareholder resolution asking the coffee and pastry company to address the environmental concerns of palm oil production. Read More
Former State Senator Shirley Huntley, who has already plead guilty to federal embezzlement charges, decided to settle her affairs this morning by pleading guilty to separate state-based charges of tampering with evidence during the embezzlement investigation. Specifically, in the words of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman when he unveiled the indictment last summer, Ms. Huntley was accused of “falsifying business records, conspiracy and tampering with an investigation in a scheme to steal taxpayer money using a sham nonprofit that did not provide any services to the public whatsoever.”
Ms. Huntley initially maintained her innocence, including issuing a forceful declaration in an “Emergency Press Conference” on her front lawn. This morning, however, the former southeastern Queens lawmaker reversed course and directly admitted to breaking the law to benefit Parent Workshop, the “sham nonprofit.” Read More
A couple days ago, the New York Daily News reported former Governor Eliot Spitzer “is being talked about” as a potential primary candidate against incumbent Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, a move he had reportedly seriously considered in 2010. On NY1′s Inside City Hall last night, however, Mr. Spitzer dismissed the speculation and labeled Mr. DiNapoli “a buddy.”
“It was a tabloid and you know I’ve always said … to you, ‘I never trust what’s in the tabloids!’” Mr. Spitzer declared over the protestations of host the show’s host, Errol Louis, a former Daily News columnist. Read More
New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli estimates the damage from Hurricane Sandy could cost the state at least $18 million. Mr. DiNapoli announced his estimate in a statement this afternoon.
“My office’s preliminary estimate of economic losses due to the storm ranges from $15 billion to $18 billion. Our daily infrastructure of highways, power, sewer and water–the elements of modern life that we take for granted–have all been altered by this storm,” Mr. DiNapoli said. “Though the rebuilding effort may offset some of these losses, we must continue to monitor what the long-term economic impact to New York will be.” Read More
Tom DiNapoli scored a victory over Exxon Mobil yesterday when the Securities and Exchange Commission rejected a request by the oil giant to block a shareholder resolution pushed by the comptroller.
The shareholder resolution is calling on ExxonMobil to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender.
“ExxonMobil is putting investors at risk by failing to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” Mr. DiNapoli said. “ExxonMobil claims it does not have discriminatory policies but it continues to deny health benefits to same-sex couples who are married in New York State that are automatically given to married couples. I urge shareholders to support my proposal to ask ExxonMobil to end these practices and bring this company into the modern age.” Read More
A new report out today by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli warned that although the fiscal condition of New York City is improving, the city should cease relying on one-shot budget fixes to balance its books.
“Next year’s budget will be balanced, but there are still significant out-year budget gaps to be closed and risks to be managed,” Mr. DiNapoli said. “The city has relied heavily on reserves and other one-shot sources of revenue, leaving fewer reserves to cushion the impact of potential budget risks.”
Those risks include the pace of the national economic recovery, further layoffs on Wall Street, new budget agreements with the city’s labor unions, and Mr. DiNapoli notes, when the city can expect proceeds from the sale of taxi medallions. Read More
Bonuses paid to New York City financial employees are expected to decline by 14 percent to $19.7 billion during this year’s bonus season, according to an estimate released today by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
“Cash bonuses were down in 2011, reflecting a difficult year on Wall Street,” DiNapoli said. “Profits were down sharply and securities firms in New York City resumed downsizing in the second half of the year. The securities industry, which is a critical component of the economies of New York City and New York State, faces continued challenges as it works through the fallout from the financial crisis and adjusts to regulatory reforms.” Read More
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and county executives from across New York are launching a new effort to curb the state’s skyrocketing pension costs.
New York Leaders for Pension Reform, as the new group is called, say they will lead a campaign travel to Albany and across the state to push lawmakers to adopt Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pension reform plan, which includes adding a sixth tier to the pension plan and switching new employees from a defined benefit to a defined contribution plan. Read More