TWO YEAR OLD ARTICLE STILL RELEVANT CONCERNING SOUTHEAST QUEENS CORRUPT LEADERS

corruption2This could have easily be written today, and here it is two years old and as fresh as a new born baby. I particularly like the line “For all the storm clouds, the local politicians routinely win re-election by Castro-esque margins. ” I would also like to add “ignorant and stupid sheep”.

Yes something it very foul smelling in Jamaica/Southeast Queens and this time it is not all the garbage and something needs to be done about it because it has been going on for decades.

First it was the corrupt white leaders of Jamaica back in the day, Masta Donald Mannes, Masta Thomas Manton and Masta Joseph P. Addabbo. Today, same shit, different complexion. And you wonder why Jamaica is so totally FUCKED UP!

From Crains:

Local pols under fire: What’s the matter with SE Queens?

Flood of corruption charges undermine area development.

October 28, 2012 12:01 a.m

A few weeks ago, a federal judge spent 20 minutes reading aloud the staggering details of a $50 million mortgage scheme that had defrauded Wall Street banks and duped hundreds of immigrants.

Edul Ahmad, a handsome 45-year-old dressed in a dark suit, and a Guyanese immigrant himself, rocked nervously in the courtroom.

“I knew what I was doing was illegal,” he said, entering a guilty plea in a near-whisper.

“Where were you when you were doing this?” asked the judge, Dora Irizarry.

“Queens, New York,” replied Mr. Ahmad.

In Queens—southeast Queens, specifically—Mr. Ahmad’s conviction added to a litany of troubles that has ensnared local politicians and, some say, threatened government funding for economic development.

Mr. Ahmad had made a $40,000 personal loan to Rep. Gregory Meeks, which the Democratic congressman initially failed to disclose as required by law. The loan is being probed by the House Ethics Committee, and speculation has run rampant about the potential consequences of Mr. Ahmad’s plea for Mr. Meeks, the neighborhood’s primary political breadwinner.

Darkening the cloud over the congressman, federal officials charged last week that Albert Baldeo, a political ally of Mr. Meeks, engineered a “straw donor” fraud scheme during a 2010 City Council run. Mr. Baldeo’s lawyers accused prosecutors of “overreaching.”

In September, state Sen. Shirley Huntley, D-Queens, was indicted in connection with no-work jobs at a nonprofit she funded, and investigations have reportedly been launched into nonprofits tied to state Sen. Malcolm Smith, City Councilman Ruben Wills and other Queens officials. The shadow cast by the various probes has complicated efforts to secure public money for the neighborhood, which has been pummeled by the foreclosure crisis.

“It has affected the ability to get ESDC and EDC dollars,” said one local lobbyist, referring to the Empire State Development Corp. and the city’s Economic Development Corp. “And it’s prevented Mayor Bloomberg from doing enough direct, long-term economic development. They might build a park or a cricket field, but they’re not focusing on building the next Court Street.”

The competition for a multibillion-dollar “racino” at Aqueduct Racetrack, one of the area’s biggest recent developments, did not escape controversy. Several local politicians were criticized in a state inspector general’s report examining potential bid-rigging for a favored developer whose ownership included the powerful local Rev. Floyd Flake. The group’s bid was disqualified, and the matter has been under federal investigation. (The project was ultimately undertaken by a different developer and the new Resorts World Casino has been an unqualified success.)

Development to take advantage of the area’s proximity to JFK airport is also a major local priority, but that too has produced negative headlines. The New York Post wrote this summer that federal investigators had subpoenaed records from the Greater Jamaica Development Corp., the main economic engine in southeast Queens. Mr. Meeks had lobbied for $40 million in funds that went toward went toward city and state projects administered by Greater Jamaica.

That included a $2.7 million grant for the group to develop an old grocery store into a corporate office tower for tenants like JetBlue, an initiative that stalled for eight years and was harshly criticized by the Port Authority. In the meantime, JetBlue instead built its headquarters in Long Island City, Queens.

The president of Greater Jamaica, Carlisle Towery, an Alabaman who has run the organization for 41 years, has also drawn scrutiny from the Post for receiving $283,000 in annual salary and benefits, while his wife in 2010 got $77,000 for unspecified consulting work. The Post has been a thorn in the side of local politicians, many of whom believe the paper is biased against them. A Post spokeswoman did not return a request for comment.

A spokesman for the group said the controversies had been ginned up.

‘Guilt by association’

“We at Greater Jamaica think it’s important to cross all our t’s and dot all our i’s and show others how to do things right,” the spokesman said, adding that its spending is publicly available for scrutiny and is thoroughly audited.

None of the controversy was apparent at Greater Jamaica’s recent posh fundraiser in Hell’s Kitchen, which featured a string quintet and a live Latin-jazz band.

Instead, speaker after speaker praised Mr. Meeks and the organization, which was celebrating its 45th anniversary. Daniel Greene, the board chairman, said that a neighborhood devastated by the mortgage crisis had rebounded, thanks in no small part to the group’s work. For instance, he said, property values had increased from $313 million to $1 billion during a 10-year period and that there had been significant job growth.

There was also effusive praise for Mr. Meeks.

“Jamaica is privileged to have such an able and dedicated public servant as Congressman Meeks!” said Mr. Greene to a crowd of about 100, including several of the city’s top lobbyists.

Many elected officials in the area insist that the headlines have not hampered economic development. Assemblyman William Scarborough, whose name has notably not come up in those reports, said it was unfair for unproven charges to be played up by tabloids.

“I’ve seen how easy it is to engage in innuendo and guilt by association,” Mr. Scarborough said.

‘It doesn’t help’

For all the storm clouds, the local politicians routinely win re-election by Castro-esque margins. (One exception is Ms. Huntley, who endured a perp walk in front of her home just days before losing September’s Democratic primary.)

Recently, the Guy Brewer Democratic Club, the most powerful clubhouse in the area, held a party at its headquarters in St. Albans to watch Barack Obama and Mitt Romney debate. Some 200 people showed up and enthusiastically joined state Sen. Malcolm Smith in a rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Mr. Meeks, fresh off a 16-hour flight from the nation of Georgia, where he had been monitoring elections, also received warm applause.

Standing outside the club on Linden Boulevard, former Councilman Archie Spigner, who is something of a political godfather in the neighborhood, paused to consider the recent tumult’s impact on local development.

“It doesn’t help; it certainly doesn’t help,” said Mr. Spigner, who now lobbies for the Greater Jamaica Development Corp.

Mr. Spigner, shaking his head, added that it had not always been this way.

“It must be something in the water these days,” he said.

 

CRAP AND MALCOLM SMITH GO TOGETHER: MORE REALITY DIRT

Senator Malcolm A. Smith being carted off by FBI agents. Another douche bag Jamaica local leader.

Senator Malcolm A. Smith being carted off by FBI agents. Another douche bag Jamaica local leader.

FAKE REALITY:

Office of State Senator Malcolm Smith
September 2, 2014

Hello everyone! Now that summer is almost behind us, we’re looking forward to getting back to work. Hopefully you and your family had the best summer ever.
Our next Operation Safe South East Queens meeting will be on:

Wednesday September 3, 2014

7:00 p.m. sharp.

Location:
Church Perpetual Praise Tabernacle; 112-27 Farmers Blvd. St. Albans, NY 11412

We hope everyone can be there to meet your local Community Affairs Officers and Commanders of the 103rd, 105th and the 113th Precincts.

_____________________________________________________

TRUTH REALITY provided by Donna Clopton, President of the 103rd Precinct Community Council:

This was originally started by all the elected officials due to the increase in violence/shootings back in 2003!!  It was to take on the so called “hotspots” where violence/drugs and shootings (illegal activities) were happening.  Malcolm has kept it going and turned it into a shaved precinct council meeting!  There is no direction and frankly it takes the commanders away from their BUSY precincts and just to give a precinct report and be put on a ‘hot seat’ instead of working towards improvements, It is often frequented by NEW folks, which means instead of moving forward it brings in the same problems from different people each month.

Some of you know the whys (related to the senate office) of keeping this going but it seems it is, as previously mentioned a precinct council meeting without all the ingredients!  The precincts involved are the 103/105/113
About 5 years ago, the precinct council presidents gave up on attending this meeting that only benefits the senator.  It definitely has lost it’s direction!

————————

Thanks much Donna for that dose of reality, which is completely a different reality from our elected leaders. It seems the big illegal activities are the ones being done by our lackluster leaders.

MORE TRUTHS ON REV. FLOYD FLAKE AND IT AIN’T PRETTY PART 3: “THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR IS THE REAL GOD”

The Rev. Floyd Flake trilogy ends on this note.

From the New York Post:

Rev. Flake ‘looting’ lesson

Old Westbury, LI home ( Angel Chevrestt)

Old Westbury, LI home ( Angel Chevrestt)

New York political kingmaker and religious leader Floyd Flake rakes in the cash — and leaves wreckage behind, critics say.

For five years, the former congressman headed one of the largest churches in the country in Queens while simultaneously running a small college in Ohio — pocketing hundreds of thousands in salary and benefits from both places.

Now Wilberforce University faculty members say he bled them dry, setting the storied black Protestant college on the road to financial ruin.

“He came in and looted the place,” said Robert Fitrakis, a lawyer for the faculty who filed a complaint last month with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

The faculty is seeking to oust the current board and Flake’s handpicked successor, charging that they have breached their legal and financial duties.

Greater Allen AME Cathedral (Riyad Hasan)

Greater Allen AME Cathedral (Riyad Hasan)

The faculty members claim that after Flake became president in 2002, his compensation and perks skyrocketed, he hired cronies as high-priced administrators, he failed to raise enough money and he insisted on a pricey contract with the Princeton Review, where he sat on an advisory board.

In his last year at the college, 2008, Flake pulled down a total compensation package of $340,100, which included his salary of $145,833 and a retirement benefit of $149,267. He also had a $45,000 expense account.

Almost all of Wilberforce’s revenue, about 90 percent, comes from taxpayer dollars, including federal financial aid and government grants.

And Flake earned the outsize salary while working at the college only one day a week, said a faculty member.

“He would fly out on Monday morning, get here in the afternoon, leave sometime on Tuesday morning,” said Richard Deering, a professor who has been at the 600-student college since 1968.

The college maintained on its tax filings that Flake worked 40 hours a week during the first five years he was there. But Flake also said he worked 40 hours a week at a nonprofit he ran out of his New York home, according to that group’s federal tax reports.

Flake tooled around the campus in a new $54,000 Cadillac Escalade. He apparently rejected the off-campus house the college offers its presidents. Instead, he bought a $190,000 condo in a town closer to shops and restaurants.

That 2005 purchase came in the same year that his salary nearly doubled, from $120,000 to $204,998, and his expense account shot up to $39,300 — almost exactly what would be needed to put a 20 percent down payment on the condo.

Although the college did provide an expense account, Flake claimed in a 2007 interview that he and his church, the Greater Allen Cathedral of New York, paid for his trips to Ohio.

The controversy is just the latest swirling around Flake, who served in Congress from 1987 to 1997. His Empowerment Development Co. was part of the consortium seeking to build a casino at Aqueduct, a deal under federal investigation.

Flake, a Democrat, was indicted on tax-evasion and embezzlement charges two decades ago — charges that were eventually dropped.

In addition, two of his political protégés, state Sen. Malcolm Smith and Rep. Gregory Meeks, who succeeded him in Congress, are under federal investigation for their roles in forming a Queens charity.

Flake, the son of a janitor who grew up in a Houston housing project, made important inroads on the New York political scene when he took over the pulpit of Greater Allen in Jamaica in 1976.

The church’s congregation now numbers some 23,000. It runs a school and develops affordable housing. Flake’s endorsements are highly sought after by politicians.

As the congregation grew, so did Flake’s prestige, and wealth.

He left Queens in 2001, moving to a sprawling $3 million, five-bedroom mansion in the tony village of Old Westbury on Long Island. He drives a 2011 Mercedes Benz valued at $96,000.

In order to maintain his lifestyle, the church paid him a housing allowance in 2008 and 2009 totaling $460,400, according to tax records. He was also pulling down $217,725 in salary from the church in 2010, plus another $12,994 from the Empowerment Development Group, the Aqueduct racino company. And he got $37,750 more from Empowerment Ministries, a nonprofit he and his wife run out of their home.

The charity — with a mission to “spread the word of Jesus Christ” — also paid his wife, Margaret Elaine Flake, $37,750 in 2010. And she took in $228,455 from Greater Allen Cathedral, where she is co-pastor.

Flake, 66, is also able to take his congressional pension, which is estimated by the National Taxpayers Union at $24,000 a year.

Despite their hefty compensation, the Flakes continually mortgaged their home, taking out three loans against it after the initial one for $1.4 million in 2001, according to Nassau County records. As of November 2010, they owed $879,789 on the property.

The couple gets a minister’s tax break on the 7,279-square-foot house, bringing their current school-tax bill down to $38,209 from $66,895.

In 2002, Flake was recruited to become president of Wilberforce, which is affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church and from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1967. The school, near Dayton, was founded in 1856 and claims to be the oldest private black college in the country.

The school had hit hard times, and “he was brought in as the savior, the messiah,” Fitrakis said.

It was supposed to be a one-year appointment for Flake, who at the time was heading the charter-school division of Edison Schools Inc. His Wilberforce salary was initially $114,395.

Flake quickly got rid of most of the administrators, replacing at least two with his associates.

He hired Marshall Mitchell, his former congressional chief of staff who also worked at Edison Schools, as a $76,000-a-year vice president of institutional advancement.

He brought in Amia Foston, a community-development staffer at his church, as a vice president earning $76,000.

Flake insisted on using high-school courses from the Princeton Review for students who needed remedial lessons.

Not only were the classes inappropriate for college students, but faculty members also accuse Flake of self-dealing since he sat on a Princeton Review advisory board at the time, according to the faculty complaint.

The university spent $1,180,998 on the Princeton Review over six years, according to the complaint, which says federal money paid for the classes.

A spokesman for the Princeton Review confirmed Flake served on its advisory board from about 2001 to 2009 and was compensated with stock options.

In the spring of 2003, Flake declared a state of financial emergency and said he wanted to slash the number of majors offered at the college by two-thirds. Faculty members agreed to a 10-percent cut in their salaries or their retirement contribution.

Two years later, he was giving his pals huge raises.

Mitchell, who was earning $80,000 in 2005, got a $64,000 bump. He, too, was only on campus a few days a week, according to Deering.

Foston continued to get an $80,000-a-year salary — at the same time he was enrolled as a full-time graduate student at another university, he said.

Mitchell, who no longer works at Wilberforce, said his salary went up when the university’s accountants determined the school’s finances were stable. He maintains he spent most of his time at the Ohio campus but had a deal to go back to his home near Washington, DC.

While Flake managed to secure federal grants to improve the university’s phone and computer systems, the money did little to help the college in the long run, Deering said.

Flake did not bring in any big private donations but did manage to get pal Hillary Rodham Clinton to speak at the 2007 commencement.

Total enrollment at Wilberforce dropped from 1,190 in the fall of 2002 to 591 this fall, below the number needed to break even, faculty say.

The complaint charges that the college will be “totally insolvent” in about 2 1/2 years.

Flake did not respond to requests for comment.

A snapshot of the Rev. Floyd Flake and wife Margaret Elaine Flake’s income in 2008:

Salary from Wilberforce University: $145,833

Retirement benefits from Wilberforce University: $149,267

Expense account from Wilberforce University: $45,000

Salaries from Greater Allen AME Cathedral; Empowerment Development Corp. and Empowerment Music Recording: $221,728

Salary from Empowerment Ministries nonprofit: $68,000

Housing allowance for $3 million Old Westbury, LI, home from Greater Allen AME Cathedral: $230,200

Congressional pension: $23,000 (estimate)

Princeton Review Advisory Board: stock options

Margaret’s salary from Empowerment Ministries: $43,000

Margaret’s salary from Greater Allen AME Cathedral: $230,009

Total: $1,156,037 plus stock options

—————————

All this money and he cannot do anything about the major garbage dumping in front of his small parking lot at Merrick Blvd and 110th, always an eyesore.

Flake's garbage strewn lot, always an eyesore

Flake’s garbage strewn lot, always an eyesore

This is nothing compared to what it looked like on Easter Sunday. Jesus H. Christ!

In the distance of this mess, sits Flakes AME Church. I though cleanliness is next to Godliness

MORE TRUTHS ON REV. FLOYD FLAKE AND IT AIN’T PRETTY PART 2: “BAD SLUMLORD”

Rev. Floyd Flake, the devil in disguise.

Rev. Floyd Flake, the devil in disguise.

More blast from the past from the despicable Rev. Floyd Flake. This one was from January 2014 and I had posted back then, but it is a goodie worth repeating.

From The Times Ledger:

Floyd Flake’s housing unit loses city deal

By Rich Bockmann

Tenants protest conditions in 2012 at one of two buildings Allen Affordable Housing recently sold another nonprofit developer.

Tenants protest conditions in 2012 at one of two buildings Allen Affordable Housing recently sold another nonprofit developer.

An arm of the Rev. Floyd Flake’s Allen AME Church turned over a pair of derelict apartment buildings to a Brooklyn-based nonprofit developer several months ago after it failed to renovate them under a city-run affordable housing program, TimesLedger Newspapers has learned.

In June, Flake’s Allen Affordable Housing Development Fund Corp. sold two southeast Queens buildings that had appeared on the city public advocate’s slumlords list to the Mutual Housing Association of New York, a Brooklyn-based developer that took over the gut-rehabilitation agreement Allen Affordable made with the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development in 2006, property records show.

A spokesman for the department said Allen Affordable’s project stalled due to capacity issues and challenges with tenants, and the two partners agreed that in the interest of moving the project forward a new developer should be brought in.

Records show the construction delays caused HPD to pull the federal funding allocated to Flake’s group, and the Brooklyn-based non-profit is currently working on the renovations with most of the funding provided by a private partner.

Since at least 1997 the city housing agency had considered Flake, who at that point was leaving Congress, as a prospective developer to take over the two buildings — one at 107-05 Sutphin Blvd., and the other at 89-06 138th St. — under its Neighborhood Redevelopment Program, which allows the department to sell city-owned buildings to community-based nonprofits to rehab and operate as rent-stabilized, low-income housing.

In 2006, the City Council and the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services signed off on the department’s proposal to sell the two properties and an adjacent vacant lot to Allen Affordable for $3. The department loaned the developer $2,377,655 to perform a gut rehabilitation on the buildings — nearly two-thirds of which came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HOME Investment Partnership Program, records show.

But when Allen Affordable failed to begin construction by a deadline set by HUD, the city pulled the federal funds rather than lose them.

“[T]his project has had a long history and a construction start continues to elude the city and designated developer for this project,” Adolfo Carrion, the Bronx politician and HUD’s regional administrator at the time, wrote in a December 2010 letter that was obtained by TimesLedger Newspapers.

“To avoid the loss of the fiscal year 2005 funds reserved for this project to another jurisdiction, the funds were cancelled by the city in HUD’s IDIS system so the city could reallocate those funds to other projects able to meet the HOME expenditure deadlines.”

Allen Affordable struggled to relocate some of the buildings’ tenants, in particular Frederick Jones, an Army veteran who lived in the Sutphin Boulevard building and worked as the superintendent when it was owned by the city.

Jones refused to temporarily relocate in order to clear the way for construction, claiming the allocation of federal funds entitled him and other tenants to further assistance beyond relocation.

“Where is the reimbursement for advisory services? For social workers? Reimbursement for hardships? You can’t just displace somebody with no supportive services,” he said.

Harold Flake, son of the minister and Allan Affordable’s vice president of real estate, said the nonprofit tried its best to accommodate Jones.

“We did everything we could to work with Mr. Jones and offered him several relocation options, but if someone doesn’t want to move, then they’re not going to move,” he said.

Jones took his case to court, filing several lawsuits claiming Allen Affordable and the government agencies had wilfully neglected him. In a motion dismissing one of the suits, Brooklyn Federal Judge Raymond Dearie wrote that Jones’ “repetitive and meritless” filings were only delaying his own goal of finding suitable housing and warned the court could prevent him from filing future complaints without a judge’s permission.

While the two sides battled it out, living conditions at both buildings deteriorated so much so that in 2010 their landlords showed up on then-Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s list of worst landlords.

Flake said that was the final straw: that any bad publicity related to his father — a high-profile, powerful political figure — essentially scared off any partners who could help get the project back on its feet.

Jones remained in his apartment until early 2012, when the city Department of Buildings issued a vacate order, citing structural instability that caused the building to shake.

The city worked to transfer its agreement with Allen Affordable to MHANY, the Brooklyn developer, in June and to put the proper funding in place. MHANY received the majority of its funding — more than $4 million — from the Community Preservation Corp., a non-profit lender with a major presence in the city and state.

 

MORE TRUTHS ON REV. FLOYD FLAKE AND IT AIN’T PRETTY PART 1: “THE DESTRUCTION OF A UNIVERSITY”

Rev. Floyd Flake, the devil in disguise.

Rev. Floyd Flake, the devil in disguise.

Rev. Floyd Flake is the definitive definition of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. A man who hides behind the cloth while he makes loads of money, often at the expense of others, dictates Southeast Queens politics all the while calling himself a man of God. What utter bullshit.

Here is blast from the past in regards to what I find is a despicable individual, who cares about one thing, himself, while he hides behind his church and pet projects that make him look good.

The first one involves Wilburforce University, the oldest private historically black institution in the country. Below is an excerpt from an article from Inside Higher Ed pertaining to the Rev. Flake. It is pretty appalling and shows the true nature of Rev. Floyd Flake.

For Storied Institution, a Historic Low

 June 30, 2014

Preacher Man: The Floyd Flake Years

Money has long been tight at Wilberforce. Small liberal arts colleges – especially those with endowments as tiny as Wilberforce’s – often find themselves vulnerable to economic vicissitudes. And historically black institutions across the country have struggled in recent decades, in part because more African-American parents are steering their children away from HBCUs, said Ibram Kendi, an assistant professor of Africana studies at the State University of New York at Albany.

But since 2002, when John Henderson retired as the university’s president, Wilberforce has suffered in ways that Central State University – another historically black university also located in Wilberforce, Ohio – has not.

Richard Deering, an economics professor who has taught at Wilberforce since 1968, dated the start of the institution’s decline to 2002.

“We were in good shape until about 10 or 12 years ago,” he said. Since then, the university has run persistent deficits and cut its number of academic programs by more than half.

By the time Henderson left, the institution was in debt. Wilberforce’s board of trustees sought a replacement who crackled with star power, someone with the name recognition to serve as a powerful fund-raiser.

“They had a fellow who was a congressman,” said Floyd Thomas, curator emeritus of the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, which is located in Wilberforce, Ohio. “Floyd Flake.”

Floyd Flake, a Wilberforce alumnus who represented New York in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1986 to 1997, is the senior pastor of an African Methodist Episcopal megachurch in Queens, NY. The preacher said he’d take the Wilberforce job – on the condition that he wouldn’t have to leave his church. The board agreed.

From 2002 to 2008, Flake worked on campus one day a week, managing Wilberforce while devoting himself to his New York congregation, Deering said. Flake reduced the number of majors the university offered. He hired his political and religious colleagues – such as his former congressional chief of staff Marshall Mitchell — as administrators.

Tyler Lawrence, who graduated from Wilberforce in 2012, came to the university at the end of Flake’s tenure.

“The heart of the school started to disassemble bit by bit, as the changes came and the programs were cut,” she said. “We began to refer to those prior times as ‘the good WU days.’ ”

In his last year as president, Flake earned a compensation package of $340,100, the Springfield News-Sun reported. That same year, Wilberforce posted a deficit of $3.2 million.

Critics have accused Flake of inflating salaries for himself and his friends – salaries largely drawn from the federal dollars that had become the university’s lifeblood — while gutting the institution. A 2012 report from the Ohio Attorney General’s office, however, concluded that financial mismanagement had not occurred.

“[I]t is important to note that these increases in number and salaries of vice-presidents occurred during a time when the university was struggling and trying to attract administrators who were competent to help stop the university’s financial losses,” the attorney general’s report argued.

A March 2008 audit from the U.S. Education Department, however, found that during Flake’s presidency, Wilberforce had failed to comply with several rules governing federal financial aid disbursement. The university did not return unearned program funds and it lacked sufficient financial aid staff to comply with the program requirements of Title IV, the major source of federal financial aid under the Higher Education Act of 1965. (Title IV programs include Pell Grants and Federal Perkins Loans.)

Kendi, who studies HBCUs but has no specific tie to Wilberforce, cautioned against a narrative of Wilberforce’s troubles that pinned blame squarely on Flake.

“It’s very easy to just blame the administrator,” the Africana studies professor said. “When the board hired Flake he made it clear he was not giving up his church. With Wilberforce in such a precarious position, it probably did necessitate someone who could dedicate their entire life to the institution getting back on a firm financial footing.”

Kendi attributed Wilberforce’s problems to simple resource scarcity – exacerbated by the recession, which hit black families disproportionately hard, because black Americans had a higher proportion of their wealth tied up in housing.

“I have been trying to confront this perception – what I believe to be a racist perception – that the reason why HBCUs have struggled is because of financial mismanagement,” Kendi said. “People at HBCUs are too quick to blame the actual people as opposed to understanding the conditions these people are forced to operate in.”

Flake and his staff did not respond to requests for comment. The entire article can be read at https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/06/30/wilberforce-university-countrys-oldest-private-historically-black-institution-could

 

 

MORE JAMAICA POLITICAL BS: THE MALCOLM SMITH/REV. FLOYD FLAKE CONNECTION

Buddies, Senator Malcolm Smith & Rev. Floyd Flake

Buddies, Senator Malcolm Smith & Rev. Floyd Flake

As the September 9th primary approaches,  time to continue looking at the majorly corrupt politics in Jamaica/South East Queens that keeps the same folks in office year after year, while little changes in Jamaica to improve it and new comers getting onto the ballot are constantly being removed by “The Jamaica Good Ol’ Boys Club” through an archaic system of petitioning signatures and other dirty checks, all to keep the same folks in office over and over and over again from people like Spigner and Comrie to  Scarborough, Cook and  Meeks.

Just recently the highly influential and very rich, Rev. Floyd Flake came out to endorse Senator Malcolm Smith to keep control of his seat. Malcolm Smith has been in the Senate representing the Jamaica area since 2000. But with Smith involved in corruption charges of attempting to secure a spot on the 2013 NYC  mayoral election and a trial coming up this January, why would Flake endorse this crook, unless Smith has something on the influential but questionable figure.

Let’s do a little background history.

Before Smith got into office, he was in real estate development and in 1985, he was named president of Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica. In 1991, he founded Smith Development Corporation, and built over 100 housing units in southeastern Queens. According to Rev. Joe Jenkins, son of the late assemblywoman, Cynthia Jenkins (who was in constant battle with the Queens Democratic machine and the Good Ol’ Boys of Jamaica), Smith and Rev. Flake were somehow involved together with the housing development corporation. It was during this time period that Smith began his political career as a Senior Aide and political protégé to then Congressman Floyd Flake from 1986 to 1991. Smith also served as a Chief Aide to former Jamaica Councilman Archie Spigner. So already you are seeing the connections of the Good Ol’ Boys Club.  By 2000, Smith’s company went bankrupt and according to the Rev. Jenkins, there were misappropriations of funds and the use of shoddy material in the construction of many homes (http://commercialobserver.com/2013/04/disgraced-state-senator-failed-at-real-estate-too/).

As Smith’s business’s tanked, his political career was taking off and thanks to Flake and Flake’s successor in Congress Gregory Meeks (another good ol’ boy), Smith was guaranteed  a Senate seat in 2000, when Alton Walden Jr. left office. And so begins this connection of Flake, Smith and Meeks.  Smith won that election by running simultaneously on the Democratic, Republican, Conservative and Working Families ballot lines. The late assemblywoman, Cynthia Jenkins, who opposed the selection of Smith in the 10th District was extremely disturbed by all those endorsements by the various groups,  saying how can someone support all those parties with such widely divergent positions on key issues. A very good point by Ms. Jenkins.

Now getting to Flake. In 1990, Flake and his wife were indicted for alleged fraud and embezzlement of church funds (at this time Flake was still Congressman, while running his church, the Greater Allen A.M.E. which according to Rev. Jenkins, paid for his lavish home and few others. The couple pled not guilty and they won a measure of vindication in 1991 when, after hearing three weeks of prosecution witnesses, the judge dismissed so much of the prosecutor’s case that he opted to drop all remaining charges. Interviews with jurors afterward indicated that, had the prosecutor opted to continue prosecution, the jury would not have found the couple guilty of any of these remaining charges. But just the fact that they were indicted, says much.

Now to come full circle. So just why would Rev. Flake endorse Smith.  Well, recently, Smith stated in papers that come his January trial, he is going to be naming names. So could possibly Flake being one of those names and by Flake endorsing Smith (I mean they have a long history), gets him off the hook. Well, inquiry minds would like to know.

So here is another saga in the Jamaica/South East Queens corrupt political system that has been going on for a very long time with some of the same players involved. And throughout all this time, Jamaica has not been improving at all, the same issues from decades ago are still the same issues of today, in fact some have gotten worse.

In a Gotham Gazette magazine article way back in 2001, councilman candidate, Ishmael Morgan stated “despite the districts prosperity, many of the commercial strips are run down, and there are few job opportunities in the area” and he likened one business district to a street in a third world country. Ironic, that 13 years later several business districts look like streets in a third world country and jobs are still an issue, despite former 12 year councilman Leroy “The Fixer” Comrie recently boasting his track record and his creations of jobs in the area on a NY1 debate.

Hillside Avenue as it looks today

Hillside Avenue as it looks today

In a 1999, in a Daily News article (http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/boroughs/multiplex-stirs-rage-developer-nabe-furor-article-1.856956), Sheila Pecoraro, then president of the 105th precinct community council stated “Over the last three years, southeast Queens has become a dumping ground for everything no one else wants”. Today, it is still a dumping ground for everything no one else wants.

Same issues, same leaders. Food for thought as you walk to the polls September 9th.

NEXT: Leroy “The Fixer” Comrie

JAMAICA POLITICAL CORRUPT BS FROM THE PAST CONTINUES TO THIS VERY DAY WITH SOME OF THE SAME PLAYERS

With a primary coming soon, September 9th, it is a really good time to start exposing the Jamaica leaders for who they really are and why our community is never improving. There will be more to come in the passing days.

Somethings never change, no matter how bad or corrupt, especially with Jamaica/South East Queens majorly dirty politics and the residents of Jamaica who are being played by these snake oil salesman who have been entrenched in this dirty system that to this day plagues Jamaica, like all the garbage everywhere, and serves only the players and the hell with the community and the residents.

Every wonder why Jamaica for decades has bee kept down in the dumps,  all one needs to do is look at past and present players, many who are the same names year after year, decade after decade. It is a game of corrupt musical chairs to keep the same culprits deep in the system. The late great and feisty Jamaica assembly woman, Cynthia Jenkins (1st black woman elected to public office in South East Queens and more about her latter on, READ UP ON HER) who  battled the Queens County Democratic machine constantly said of South East Queens politics, “It is “plantation politics”, which to this day still continues in all forms of government, but especially here in Jamaica by the same names from decades ago to the present. Names like Archie Spigner, Leroy Comrie, Helen Marshall, Malcolm Smith, Gregory Meeks, William Scarborough Joan Flowers and Rev. Floyd Flake.  Speaking for a long time with Ms. Jenkin’s son, Rev. Joe Jenkins, he filled me in on the history of this corrupt system, since this was way before my time here in Jamaica. And boy does he have stories, that our leaders would not like to be brought up in this era of “selective memory”.

Take this quote I came across:

“A plantation. Black people in the worst jobs. The worst housing. Police brutality rampant. But when the so-called black committeemen came around election time, we’d all line up and vote the straight Democratic ticket. Sell our soul for a Christmas turkey.”

This is a strategy of keeping blacks poor, angry, uneducated, sheep, victims and voting for Democrats or whomever, who end up never giving a shit about them, just like our Jamaica leaders. They count on this and they do not want smart, intelligent, educated and politically conscience people voting, because they want to bring in their sheep to vote for them, which is exactly what Rev. Flake and some other church leaders do to control the system. Don’t let them tell you otherwise.

Ever wonder why Jamaica has not really improved in decades,  the same folks always in power,  who also make it extremely difficult for newcomers to break in. They constantly tried it with Cynthia Jenkins and they are doing again with Navy Vet Bernadette Semple who was kicked off the ballot by Leroy Comrie,  who petitioned some signatures to dwindle her finances and keep her in court battles. The powers to be are already controlling the election before we the people can even vote. A way to keep them in powers always and remove any potential threats, like Bernadette Semple, a highly educated and articulate black woman, a Navy Vet, a wounded warrior and someone who is very in tune with the dirty politics of Jamaica. Curious why she was not involved in the NY1 14th District Senate Debate, too busy tied up in court due to Comrie’s and the Democratic machine’s shenanigans.

So now let’s go back just 4 years ago to show you what I am talking about concerning our corrupt and useless leaders (notice the same folks and the same crap that continues today):

From The Daily News (2010):

Federal grand jury probes real estate and nonprofit deals for Malcolm Smith, other Queens pols

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Federal grand jury probes real estate and nonprofit deals for Malcolm Smith, other Queens pols BY Kenneth Lovett , Barbara Ross , Greg B. Smith DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS Thursday, April 1, 2010,

Federal grand jury probes real estate and nonprofit deals for Malcolm Smith, other Queens pols
BY Kenneth Lovett , Barbara Ross , Greg B. Smith
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Thursday, April 1, 2010,

A federal grand jury is zeroing in on some of Queens’ most powerful political figures – including Senate President Malcolm Smith – the Daily News has learned.

Sources said the feds are investigating whether the Queens pols used a web of nonprofit groups to benefit themselves, their families and their friends.

The raft of documents the Manhattan-based panel wants involve:

- The Merrick Academy charter school – a source of campaign funds and patronage for Smith.

- A lavish home built for Rep. Gregory Meeks in Jamaica.

- A four-family house owned by Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.

One subpoena revealed for the first time that prosecutors are looking at the housing and social service empire built by the Rev. Floyd Flake – Meeks’ predecessor in Congress and political mentor to Smith and Meeks.

The grand jury also wants records related to a Springfield Gardens commercial building owned by Joan Flowers, a politically active lawyer who has been campaign treasurer for Smith, Meeks and Gov. Paterson.

Flowers was “terminated” Wednesday from her $145,000-a-year Senate job as Smith’s counsel. Although Senate officials said Flowers left of her own volition, sources told The News that Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson made it clear to Smith that it was time for Flowers to go.

The investigation is being conducted by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara‘s public corruption office, sources say.

Several months ago, Bharara’s investigators obtained documents from the state Senate regarding taxpayer money Smith sponsored for several nonprofits.

“They can subpoena all the documents in the world. They’re not going to find any evidence of wrongdoing by Malcolm Smith,” Smith’s top-gun lawyer, Gerald Shargel, said yesterday.

Smith, who is on vacation from the Legislature, declined comment.

Among the documents being sought are work papers of Robert Gaskin, a Jamaica, Queens-based architect who has done work for several of the pols and many of the nonprofits they have funded.

Gaskin declined to comment.

Investigators are taking a close look at a charter school The News highlighted last Sunday where Gaskin did some work in 2001.

At the time, the school, the Merrick Academy, counted Smith as one of its most prominent board members.

At the same time, records show Gaskin was doing work on at least one Queens property that listed Smith as owner.

Smith, who has a background in real estate development, was elected to the Senate in 2000. His real estate firm, Smith Development Corp., filed for bankruptcy in 2001.

A sweetheart deal

The grand jury has also subpoenaed documents regarding a huge, 6,000-square-foot house that Gaskin did work on for Meeks at 109-24 109th Road in Jamaica.

Meeks paid $830,000 for it in October 2006 but in 2007, the city appraised it at $1,239,000.

The National Legal and Policy Center, a Washington-based conservative group, has accused Meeks of paying much less than the house was worth and has demanded the House of Representatives investigate.

The subpoenas relating to Flake’s AME Allen Cathedral involve some of the 930 units of federally subsidized housing his church has sponsored over the past 30 years.

The property involving Marshall is a house at 31-17 Buell St. in Queens, a two-family structure that Marshall and her husband, David, converted to a four-family unit in 2008.

Meeks, Flake and Marshall did not return calls seeking comment.

The grand jury is also interested in property owned by Flowers, campaign treasurer to Smith, Meeks and Paterson.

The property happens to house a nonprofit group called New Directions Local Development Corp., which got $56,000 in public grants sponsored by Smith.

New Directions, which boasted it was founded in 2001 by Smith and Meeks, was headquartered in Flower’s office at 219-10 South Conduit Ave.