2010-04-23 / Top Stories

Congressman Gregory Meeks Socked With Federal Subpoena

Seek Records On Non-Profits, Katrina Charity
By Howard Schwach

A federal grand jury has served Congressman Gregory Meeks, who represents the eastern end of the Rockaway peninsula, with a subpoena demanding records about his tax-exempt charities and what happened to the public money that went into those charities and reportedly never came out.

Law enforcement sources told The Wave that the subpoena, issued by a Manhattan grand jury serving the Southern District of New York last week, signals the expansion of a probe into a number of local politicians, including Meeks, State Senator Malcolm Smith, former Representative Floyd Flake and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.

Meeks submitted a notice to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he had been served, as required by the rules of the House of Representatives.

The grand jury is reportedly seeking thousands of pages of documents dating back to 2000.

Those documents detail the founding of the New Direction Local Development Corporation, a non-profit founded by Meeks and Smith.

Public money was reportedly directed to New Directions by both Meeks and Smith, and an additional $250,000 went into the non-profit’s treasury thanks to a deal brokered by the politicians with a developer who wanted to build a massive warehouse complex on Rockaway Turnpike, across from John F. Kennedy Airport.

Little of that money has been accounted for, sources say.

In addition, the two politicians spun off a Hurricane Katrina charity, NOAH-F, which, reports show, took in more than $35,000 and expended less than $2,000.

The subpoenas also seek information on Meeks’ public funding for the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation.

Meeks reportedly helped steer $21 million in tax credits to the organization, as well as $9.2 million from the Federal Transit Administration to rehab the area around the transit hub.

Meeks also designated some of his member item money for the organization.

Flake and other Queens politicians sit on the organization’s board of directors, records show.

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