Councilwoman Koslowitz dips into pension and payroll: Docs

By Sarina Trangle

City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz’s (D-Forest Hills) previous stint at City Hall is paying off — literally.

Filings with the city Conflicts of Interest Board show Koslowitz is collecting an at least $60,000 pension in addition to her $112,000 base salary.

Koslowitz, who represented the central Queens neighborhoods of Forest Hills, Rego Park and Kew Gardens in the City Council in the 1990s, was re-elected to a third term in 2013.

Her office noted she had worked for the pension and was entitled to collect it.

“She is legally permitted to collect a pension,” said Michael Cohen, a press representative for Koslowitz. “Once you hit 65, you’re permitted to collect your pension.”

The COIB recently made financial disclosure forms annually submitted by elected officials available to the public.

Few lawmakers holding office in 2013 reported earning income beyond their legislative salary or holding leadership posts at nonprofits and other organizations.

Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) noted he had between $5,000 and $44,000 invested in Farmstone Consultants. He did not report any income from the consulting business and campaign finance records indicate no candidates or other organizations have hired the firm since 2010.

Although Farmstone’s address was blacked out of the COIB filing, campaign finance records and court documents show it has been at the same address as the councilman’s campaign office and New York 4 Life Inc., a nonprofit Wills founded.

Wills was indicted on charges of pocketing $19,000 from a $30,000 state grant his former boss, state Sen. Shirley Huntley, steered toward NY 4 Life and using $11,500 in public matching funds allocated to his 2009 Council campaign for personal expenses.

The councilman has maintained his innocence and said the nonprofit plays a vital role in helping fight obesity and support families in southeast Queens.

His office could not be reached for comment.

Reach reporter Sarina Trangle at 718-260-4546 or by e-mail at strangle@cnglocal.com.

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