- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf Baez Tied to Council Slush Fund Scandal | Bronx News Networkbronx

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Baez Tied to Council Slush Fund Scandal

In today's Post, Bronx Council member Maria Baez is named as one of six council members whose funding recommendations are being investigated by the Department of Investigations.

Presumably, Baez's reported attempt to give $7,500 to a tenant group that doesn't even exist will be one of the recommendations the agency will be looking at.

More on the Council scandal here.

It's been a tough few months for the west Bronx legislator. Last November, she and Council member (and BP hopeful) Joel Rivera sponsored a housing bill which, tenants rights groups argued, would have favored landlords over tenants. (Baez and Rivera were roundly vilified in the press, and quickly threw their support behind a more tenant friendly bill which was eventually passed into law.)

Then, a few weeks ago, it was revealed that Baez has the worst attendance record of any council member when it comes to showing up for meetings and hearings.

Baez, of course, isn't the only west Bronx politician with political problems. State Senator Efrain Gonzalez, whose district office is just a few short blocks from Baez's, will go on trial later this year for allegedly helping himself to more than $400,000 in taxpayer money.

Without drawing too many similarities between Baez and Gonzalez (Baez, after all, hasn't been charged with anything), both have brought race into the equation when defending themselves against allegations that they misused public funds. "I will not allow anyone to assassinate my character as a Latina woman," Baez told the Post. Last year, Gonzalez said of his constituents: "They stand with me, they know it’s [the charges] total baloney. Who’s doing the demonizing? It’s not the people of color; it’s not the people from the district."


Post a Comment

Bronx News Network reserves the right to remove comments that include personal attacks, name calling, foul language, commercial advertisements, spam, or any language that might be considered threatening, libelous or inciting hate.

User comments are reviewed by BxNN staff and may be included or excluded at our discretion.

If what you have to say is unrelated to this particular post, please visit our readers' forum.