Assemblyman Vito Lopez received a rare bit of good news last week amid the torrent of government investigations and media maelstrom that has engulfed his favorite nonprofit.
City and state officials quietly released $135 in funding last Friday for new homecare contracts to the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, according to the New York Post.
The move comes despite three ongoing probes, two of them federal, into the nonprofit’s financial activities and records after both Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Paterson promised to review all city and state contracts to Ridgewood Bushwick.
But those investigations appear to be widening.
Reports in the Post and The Brooklyn Paper, noted that federal investigators were scrutinizing the political dealing that led to the city awarding sites in the Broadway Triangle to Ridgewood Bushwick and the United Jewish Organizations; even Eastern District’s civil rights bureau is poking around to see if the city did in fact discriminate against blacks and Latinos, as a lawsuit suggests.
In the wake of these investigations, the judge in the Broadway Triangle lawsuit is close to postponing the case indefinitely until the investigations are resolved.
At the same time, the Daily News turned over some old stones to report how employees at Ridgewood Bushwick do political work off the clock and sometimes even run for office as judicial convention delegates and if they don’t comply with the executives’ requests, they risk being fired.
The Daily News supplemented this Sunday story with an interview with Ridgewood Bushwick’s do-nothing board treasurer and an odd story that suggested that Lopez was to blame for an arson in an East Williamsburg building owned by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Through it all, Lopez stayed in bed — after entering Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center last Thursday for an aggressive form of cancer treatment.
Lopez is in isolation, according to his staff, and his treatment is proceeding smoothly.