Queens development agency undergoes federal probe for use of taxpayer funding
A Queens non-profit that oversees development opportunities in Jamaica is the subject of a federal probe, the New York Post reported, as Rep. Gregory Meeks has funneled millions in taxpayer funds to the organization despite producing few results. The U.S. Attorney’s Office issued a subpoena to the Greater Jamaica Development Corp., which has secured more than $40 million in recent years for development projects thanks to Meeks.
Some $9.2 million was secured to improve a Long Island Rail Road underpass and create a shopping strip there. After a long delay the underpass renovations were unveiled but the 5,500 square feet in retail spaces remain vacant. Some $21 million went towards the creation of a hotel, residences and retail near the Jamiaca LIRR station, but the deal with a developer fell through. The agency also has done nothing to renovate a Sutphin Boulevard building it purchased with $2.7 million in taxpayer money in 2004.
With little progress made on these projects, and its close ties to the politician, who is already under investigation for other shady financial deals, according to the Post, the situation has caught the attention of federal investigators. [Post]