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City freezes Halloran discretionary grants

AP Photo/Seth Wenig
By Phil Corso

The city has frozen $72,857 in discretionary grants once in the hands of embattled City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone), according to a published report.

The 12 allocations were set aside for three different nonprofits, including the Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Community Center, Quality Services for the Autism Community and Prevention Alternatives for Families in Crisis Nature-Nurture Counseling Center, the New York Post reported. They will all need to wait until the Council reviews the grants before accepting them, the Council said.

The money was set aside to help fund various youth and community-centered activities, the Council said. The groups could not be reached for comment.

The grants in question made up 12 of 40 total allocations that Halloran made for nonprofits, according to Council documents, costing about $400,000.

Halloran was arrested in early April on charges that he used bribery in a bid to get state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) on the GOP line in the mayoral race. He was stripped of all Council committee assignments and barred from touching any government money immediately following his arrest.

The councilman has remained quiet since his legal battle began, but denied any wrongdoing and maintained he would be vindicated in court next month.

Soon after his arrest, Halloran announced he would not seek re-election to the northeast Queens Council seat so he could instead devote time to clearing his name.

Around the time of his arrest, Halloran’s office was just completing the Participatory Budgeting process geared toward allocating $1 million in discretionary funding to a list of projects voted on by the community.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) gained the ultimate say over how that money would be spent once Halloran was stripped of his ability to dole out government money.

That money has yet to be disbursed, but Council leaders and those groups waiting for money said they were optimistic the money would be there.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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