Quinn Defends Conduit Groups

Unlike Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s reaction to the initial revelation of the Council’s secret discretionary fund — she denied knowledge that that practice was still going on and then proposed a series of dramatic reforms to the process – she is making no apologies in connection to the latest story accusing the Council of bad financial practices.

When I asked Quinn earlier today about the practice of funneling money through “conduit groups,” as described in a Daily News story, Quinn said, “There is nothing inappropriate about it.”

At an appearance this afternoon with a mayor at the Brooklyn Army Terminal to announce upcoming ferry service for Brooklyn and Queens, Quinn said the practice has been going on for years and isn’t in violation of any laws.

“Why does that one organization send it to another organization? Because the smaller organization may not be a 501c3 and the law does not require that they have to be a 501c3 to get money from the City Council or the city of New York,” Quinn said.

On an unrelated note, Bloomberg was asked about federal money for ferry service that was secured by Representative Anthony Weiner, and has gone unused. Bloomberg said the money would be used in the future and that the city would not “walk away” from the $15 million Weiner secured. Bloomberg also said that Weiner was invited to today’s event but that the congressman declined, mostly likely, because of a scheduling conflict. One of Weiner’s aides did attend and even took the ferry back to Manhattan with elected officials and reporters. The aide did not say publicly where Weiner was today.

Quinn Defends Conduit Groups