Quinn Responds to Report of Misuse of Tax Dollars

Christine Quinn just held a press conference to respond to this morning’s story in the New York Post that reported the speaker’s office has been funneling taxpayer funds into ficticious community groups. Her statement, per Sally Goldenberg at the Staten Island Advance, reads in part:

In the spring of 2007 I instructed my staff to stop this 20-year-old practice. A few months ago we learned that that practice of holding funds in reserve continued against my instructions in this year’s budget. At the same time we became aware that this practice also involved listing these reserve funds in the budget and allocations to fictitious community based organizations. We believe that that practice dates back to at least 2001. In the course of cooperating with a broader and we believe unrelated investigation the Council attorneys made this discovery and disclosed this information to me.

Quinn denied the money was used to influence votes, saying, "These monies were largely used to fix errors and for mid-year budget needs and requests.”

When asked whether the activity was criminal, she replied, "That’s really not a determination I can make."

She also declined to elaborate on the nature of the broader investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office, other than to say that she is "not a target."

Quinn Responds to Report of Misuse of Tax Dollars