April 20, 2016
It seems the tangled web of corruption stemming out of the 66th Precinct in Boro Park is finally coming apart. We thank our sources who have helped piece this all together. An analysis of Shomrim- Community Board 12 – NYPD – de Blasio corruption is forthcoming.
For now, from Politico:
The de Blasio administration is halting two City Council grants allocated to an organization tied to a man who was arrested this week as part of an ongoing federal probe, a spokeswoman confirmed to POLITICO New York.
The administration is freezing two earmarks totaling $35,000 “until relevant facts are determined to ensure Shmira Civilian Volunteer Patrol of Boro Park Inc. is a responsible vendor,” de Blasio spokeswoman Karen Hinton said. The grants were issued last summer by Brooklyn Councilmen David Greenfield and Chaim Deutsch, but the contracts had yet to be finalized by the mayor’s team.
Hinton was responding to inquiries from POLITICO about the city’s business dealings with the organization, whose chief financial officer listed on the city’s database of people doing business with City Hall is Alex Lichtenstein. Lichtenstein was arrested in his Rockland County home on Sunday on bribery charges.
A 10-page federal complaint issued by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office accused Lichtenstein of bribing NYPD officers with cash in exchange for obtaining handgun permits.
A review of public documents show the Boro Park, Brooklyn branch of Shmira, a volunteer security force, has received nine city contracts totaling $425,708 from the 2010 to 2015 fiscal years, which span the Bloomberg and de Blasio administrations.
Eight of the contracts were with the Department of Youth and Community Development and one was for $197,208 with the city’s Department of Design and Construction for vehicles for the patrol force.
An attorney for Lichtenstein declined to comment in an email.
Greenfield said in an emailed statement sent by his spokesman, “I was disappointed to learn of the allegations against this individual. However, it is my understanding that he doesn’t even live in New York City, and when he left New York City he was no longer associated with Shomrim, which does outstanding work as the eyes and ears of Brooklyn communities.”
Shomrim is another common term for the volunteer security force in the Orthodox community.
A spokeswoman for Deutsch did not respond to a request for comment.
A woman who answered the phone for a number connected to Shmira said “I’m sorry, I can’t give anything out” and hung up.
When de Blasio was a councilman representing Boro Park, he allocated two $10,000 grants to Shmira in 2009 and 2010, public records show. It is unclear if he knows or has ever interacted with Lichtenstein.
He gave another $50,000 to the Boro Park Shomrim from 2004 through 2008, the records show.
A spokesman for City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said the council is reviewing the matter.