Democrat Assemblywoman Mathylde Frontus is in seriously hot water after it was discovered that she attempted to secure funds for the “Southern Brooklyn Community Think Tank.”
One little problem: That organization reportedly doesn’t exist, according to New York Post.
Frontus promised to set it up days after her election in 2018 as a way to “change the face of politics” in Brooklyn, which she presently represents.
She claims that she has no idea why everyone is upset with her. “It’s not an entity, it’s just a name,” she said. “It’s not something real.” Ironically, she struck pay dirt with that last line but didn’t even know it.
But in New York, fraudsters aren’t without their own allies. Assembly spokesman Mike Whyland came to Frontus’ defense, claiming that she didn’t break any laws, as the organization was simply an “idea.” Unfortunately for both of them, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie disagrees with that logic and refused to provide Frontus with the funding she requested. This outcome was likely affected by the fact that she never even filed the paperwork to establish the group, nor did she bother to set up any social media pages for it. For all intents and purposes, it looks like she had no plan to begin the process until she already had the money in her hand.
Heastie believes that he made the right decision in turning down Frontus, citing state law as saying lawmakers cannot participate in any state contracting decision” that will make them money. Violators face fines up to a whopping $40,000
One Brooklyn legislator was baffled by the whole situation, saying, according to Fox News: “How do you ask for $100,000 in funding for a group that doesn’t exist and think it’s OK? This request reeks of corruption and raises many legal and ethical questions.”
It is worth noting that Mathylde Frontus was elected in a bid to replace New York state Assemblywoman Pamela Harris, who was indicted on fraud charges for stealing money that was meant to rebuild after the disaster of Superstorm Sandy.
But New York is no stranger to politicians who think they’re above the law. Disgraced ex-state senator Shirley Huntley was sentenced to one year and one day in jail in 2013 after being convicted of stealing $87,000 from an educational non-profit that she herself had founded, and using that money to fund her shopping habit.
Fellow ex-state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. and his son pled guilty in 2012 to stealing half a million dollars from a healthcare charity that they had founded. According to reports he was sentenced to “five years’ imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release” following the theft of funds that were allegedly used to support his lavish lifestyle.
“Espada embezzled funds to finance his personal lifestyle and lavish gifts on friends and family members at the expense of taxpayers and underprivileged members of the Bronx community who were deprived of needed health services and medical equipment,” said United States Attorney Loretta Lynch in a statement.
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