State Senator Jeff Klein took a $10,000 campaign donation from a mafia-linked realty company–the same firm he rents his district office space from.
The Bronx pol’s July filing shows that the Hutchinson Metro Center, an affiliate of Simone Development–formerly known as Hutch Realty Partners–kicked in the five figures in June. The donation brings the real estate group’s total contribution to Mr. Klein’s operation to a whopping $93,850 since 2006.
One of the Hutchinson Metro Center’s principals, Waters Development, is co-owned by Michael Contillo and Joseph Deglomini. Mr. Contillo and Mr. Deglomini were indicted in the 1990s of tax evasion, racketeering, and conspiring to raid the pension funds of building trade unions with the help of organized crime.
Mr. Klein relocated his official district office to the Hutchinson Center in 2011. A spokeswoman for the senator said that the move was based on the site’s central location in the Bronx- and Westchester-spanning district.
“Senator’s Klein’s district office is located in the expansive Hutchinson Metro Center complex, as are a number of city agencies including the New York City Housing Authority the City’s 911 call center, federal agencies and prominent New York institutions,” said spokeswoman Candice Giove. “Senator Klein’s district office lease, like all of Senate leases and lease renewals, was subject to procurement and vendor review by the State Senate and was reviewed and signed off on by both the Attorney General and New York State Comptroller.”
The New York Post has previously noted Mr. Klein had rented space and received donations from the mob-tied firm.
Ms. Giove did not immediately respond to requests for comment specifically about Mr. Klein’s acceptance of campaign funds from a mafia-affiliated organization.
According to the Daily News, Hutch Realty Partners purchased 10 acres of land–immediately adjacent to their center where Mr. Klein’s district office is located–from the state for a total of $5.5 million between 2001 and 2005, when the New York Police Department was interested in constructing a call center on the plot. After an extended fight, the city agreed to buy the land from the company for $46 million.
The senator’s camp said he had no input with the state, the city, or Hutch Realty Partners at any time during the land dealings.
Hutch Realty Partners did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The company has donated to other politicians and political causes, including $9,600 to the Bronx Democratic Party and $5,000 to Democratic Senate Minority Leader–and aspiring majority leader–Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
Mr. Klein leads the Independent Democratic Conference, which formed a power-sharing arrangement with the Senate Republicans in 2012, but agreed to caucus again with the larger Democratic delegation last month.
Updated to reflect that Mr. Contillo and Mr. Deglomini are not principals in the Hutchinson Metro Center, but principals in Waters Development, which in turn is a principal in the Center.