The City Council has voted to strip disgraced Councilmember Dan Halloran of his committee assignments and power to allocate funding.
Halloran faces federal charges for allegedly playing a key role in a conspiracy and bribery scheme to rig the mayoral election, authorities said.
Power to distribute funds in the 19th District now falls to Speaker Christine Quinn’s office and the Council’s entire Queens Delegation, according to Councilmember Leroy Comrie, the delegation’s chair.
“The entire delegation will be working closely, regarding funding, in consultation with his staff and all of the groups,” Comrie said. “It will be a delegation collaborative effort, working with the community and all the groups that have requested funding.”
Bayside and College Point residents in Halloran’s district recently voted to create kayak and canoe launches in Little Bay Park and restore a cultural institute as part of the city’s participatory budgeting process.
Halloran’s spokesperson Kevin Ryan said the Council will “most likely honor” the votes despite the funding freeze. But sources said the $1 million initiative could be in jeopardy.
“We’ll try to do as much as we can to keep the participatory budgeting,” said Comrie.
Meanwhile, a handful of state elected officials are fighting for a hand in allocating the district’s city funds.
“I have a real problem with someone from outside the district placing money,” said State Senator Tony Avella. “We know the district better than anyone else. We want to make sure the groups that deserve the funding in this district get the proper funding. That would be terribly unfair if the groups are disenfranchised.”
Avella and three assemblymembers who represent parts of the district have placed calls to the Speaker to be part of the decision making process.
“That’s not okay in my opinion,” Avella said. “None of them know the groups in this district.”