Vito Lopez, the embattled Brooklyn Assemblyman and former head of the Assembly’s housing committee, gained both power and loyalty among supporters by giving them cheap housing, as well as jobs and titles, the New York Daily News reported.
Diana Reyna, a city council member since 2001, is one such supporter. Back in 1997, while Reyna worked for Lopez, her sister was selected to purchase a taxpayer-subsidized, multi-family home in Bushwick for $179,000, the Daily News said. The deal also included a 50 percent property tax break. Lopez’s non-profit organization, Ridgewood-Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, marketed the subsidized properties and also nabbed state funding.
Another one of Lopez’s friends, Vilma Huertas, scored a job with the New York City Housing Authority, earning roughly $153,000 last year alone. Lopez’s girlfriend, Angela Battaglia, made $282,940 in 2010 working 35 hours weekly at Ridgewood-Bushwick.
Reyna reportedly no longer has a relationship with Lopez. She and Battaglia declined to comment to the Daily News.