Friday, May 02, 2008

Siegel Sues The City Over Council Speaker's Slush Fund

The Slush Fund scandal came to light concerning fake charities and payouts from the Council Speaker's office, Quinn "got tough" and proposed reforms to smooth things over with the public (and possibly the District Attorney). However, community hero and potentially future Public Advocate Norman Siegel is not buying the aftermath of what happened. He has taken the step to sue the city under an old Boss Tweed-era law and demand answers to questions that every citizen in New York deserves to hear.

From The Daily Politics:

The suit seeks to have key City Hall officials subpoenaed to testify, including Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg.

A hearing date of a show cause order was set for May 29.

Among other issues that would be explored if the inquiry is approved would be whether actions by Quinn and others in the Council’s creation of phantom budget accounts constitutes violations of neglect of duty in relation to the proper conduct of the government affairs of New York City.

Also to be explored is if anyone knowingly made false or deceptive reports “in the course of their duty.”

Other questions posed by the suit include:

- Why were the secret budget accounts created?

- Who was involved in the decision to create them?

- Where did the money involved eventually end up?

- Who chose the groups that got the money?

- Who was aware of the behind-the-scene use of the secret accounts and how they were used?

- What did the mayor and his Office of Management and Budget know, and if they knew what did they do about it?

Quinn never offered this information up in her press conferences, possibly to save her mayoral chances next year (and to hold on to the Speakership for that matter). Of course Siegel isn't seeking any penalties for those he names to testify but more importantly to have the truth heard so we do not have to repeat these mistakes again and again.

Norman is holding a press conference tomorrow morning at 10:30 in his office at 260 Madison (18th Fl), for all those that care to hear his remark in person and before brunch. Be sure to see what else Norman is up to at his website.