Frank Carone’s RiseBoro Community Partnership and Nancy Lepre’s Avante Contracting were among groups that gave at least $100,000 to political campaigns, including Mayor Bill de Blasio’s presidential campaign, and were chosen to take over properties the City foreclosed on as part of the third-party transfer program. Many of the foreclosures were in gentrifying neighborhoods.
Carone holds significant sway over appointments of judges who then hear the foreclosure cases, and can rule in favor of the City. Those same judges can then transfer the properties to Carone’s RiseBoro Community Partnership. “The implication on the third-party transfer program is pure and utter nonsense,” a spokesperson for Carone told the New York Daily News.
Carone, longtime de Blasio ally, is chief lawyer for the Brooklyn Democratic Party, has connections to the former Brooklyn kingmaker Vito López and represents the Podolsky Brothers. The influential lawyer came under scrutiny just last month when it was found that Carone represented the Podolsky brothers in the City’s purchase of 21 “cluster sites” for $173 million which was overvalued by $26 million, according to records.
Carone has also made donations to state Attorney General Letitia James and city Comptroller Scott Stringer, both of whom could investigate the program.
[New York Daily News] — Georgia Kromrei