New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Michael Gartland

New York Daily News Cuomo to probe NYC’s biggest homeless services provider after Daily News exposé by Michael Gartland

Cuomo to probe NYC’s biggest homeless services provider after Daily News exposé

The Acacia Network — the scandal-plagued non-profit that raked in $183 million in city contracts in 2019 alone — is facing another investigation.

Gov. Cuomo announced the latest probe Tuesday after the Daily News exposed Acacia for demanding a mother of three stop calling the city’s 311 complaint line if she wanted to renew her lease in a squalid Bronx apartment.

New York Post Even the trash cans are too expensive in NYC by Michael Gartland

Even the trash cans are too expensive in NYC

Upper East Side Councilman Ben Kallos said he protested the price surge to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, which inked the deal, but was told it can’t be renegotiated.

“There is something wrong with the way we buy things as a city,” Kallos griped. “We never should have to pay more through a contract than if we bought it on the open market.”

Kallos said he had 284 of the domed, green trash cans installed on neighborhood sidewalks since taking office in 2014. At the time, they cost $545 a pop under a different contract.

The cans were such a hit that Kallos said he planned to order more — until he learned the new cost, $969.

 

New York Post De Blasio’s pushback on charter schools may cost him control by Michael Gartland

De Blasio’s pushback on charter schools may cost him control

Manhattan Councilman Ben Kallos, a mayoral ally on education, countered that “charter schools shouldn’t be playing politics with children as pawns."

“Holding the public-school system hostage for charter-school expansion isn’t right,” said Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side. “Parents in my district aren’t asking for more charter school seats. They’re asking for more seats in traditional public schools.”

New York Post De Blasio aides’ legal bills are costing taxpayers millions by Michael Gartland

De Blasio aides’ legal bills are costing taxpayers millions

The city’s top lawyer predicted Monday that taxpayers will have to shell out “a few million dollars more” for the legal bills of mayoral aides swept up in several corruption probes.

And that’s on top of the $10.5 million already spent on outside lawyers.

Corporation Counsel Zach Carter described the additional legal costs as not “a large magnitude” and said it appears the federal probes are “winding down and concluding.”

“We believe that there will be a few million dollars more expended, but I can’t give you an exact figure,” Carter testified at a City Council budget hearing. “I don’t believe that it will be a large magnitude of expenditures.”

New York Post City official was fired for something other than Rivington House deal by Michael Gartland

City official was fired for something other than Rivington House deal

A top city official wasn’t fired because of his role in a controversial land deal that allowed a non-profit nursing home to be converted to luxury housing — but his boss refused to say Monday if he was ousted because of other federal investigations.

The axed official, Ricardo Morales, who served as a deputy commissioner at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, was at the center of two deals now being probed by federal investigators.

One was the lifting of deed restrictions on Rivington House, a Lower East Side nursing home, that eventually led to its sale for luxury condos.

New York Post Officials press de Blasio to release records on pending deed restrictions by Michael Gartland

Officials press de Blasio to release records on pending deed restrictions

Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Lisette Camilo testified at a City Council hearing two weeks ago that she would share records on more than a dozen properties with pending restriction changes, but according to Brewer and Councilman Ben Kallos, she still hasn’t.

The requests come several months after the city lifted deed restrictions on the Rivington House nursing home, paving the way for the property to be sold to a developer that plans to convert it to luxury housing — a deal now being investigated by the US Attorney’s Office.

Kallos suggested the delay could hurt the mayor’s spending plan. “We need to see it before we pass the budget,” he said.

New York Post De Blasio backs bill to limit bundling of campaign contributions by Michael Gartland

De Blasio backs bill to limit bundling of campaign contributions

A bill by Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), discussed at a hearing Monday, would prohibit campaigns from accepting public matching funds off money raised by lobbyists who bundle unlimited contributions from other donors.

By law, lobbyists, contractors and others doing business with the city can give no more than $400 to a mayoral candidate. But a loophole allows those same individuals to bundle unlimited amounts from others to the same candidates.

New York Post School chancellor afraid mock elections would cause bullying by Michael Gartland

School chancellor afraid mock elections would cause bullying

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said Wednesday she is concerned that holding mock presidential elections in schools could lead to the type of bullying common in the real race for the White House.

New York Post Even de Blasio is projecting a homeless increase next year by Michael Gartland

Even de Blasio is projecting a homeless increase next year

New Yorkers who say they’re seeing a lot more homeless on the streets better brace for next year — when even the de Blasio administration is projecting an increase.

The numbers are contained in small type in the mayor’s Management Report, which predicts that 3,350 individuals will be sleeping “on the streets, in parks, under highways, on subways, and in the public transportation stations in New York City.”

New York Post De Blasio’s affordable-housing plan doesn’t have many backers by Michael Gartland

De Blasio’s affordable-housing plan doesn’t have many backers

“I share the mayor’s goal for affordability, but have concerns about the lack of mixed-income developments proposed in the plan,” said Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan).

“A middle-income family should still have somewhere to live in this city. They’re not provided for in the mayor’s plan.”