New York Rep. Gregory Meeks has been subpoenaed as part of a growing federal corruption probe that includes some of the most powerful Democratic politicians in Queens.
Meeks’s office received a document subpoena from a federal grand jury in Manhattan several weeks ago, the New York Democrat announced on the House floor Tuesday. Under House rules, a lawmaker must announce on the floor when he or she has been subpoenaed in a civil or criminal action.
Meeks’s aides declined to discuss what the grand jury was seeking, but the subpoena covered a period going back to 2000 and seeks a broad range of documents from the seven-term lawmaker.
“Our district office received a request for documents, with which we promptly complied. We followed House rules in formally disclosing the request,” said Sophia King, Meeks’s chief of staff. “But the congressman is committed to assisting this review, and we are otherwise respecting its confidentiality.”
The New York Daily News reported in early April that the grand jury was looking into the activities of several Queens politicians, including Meeks, former Rep. Floyd Flake (D-N.Y.), New York Senate President Malcolm Smith and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.
According to the Daily News, “the feds are investigating whether the Queens pols used a web of nonprofit groups to benefit themselves, their families and their friends.”
The National and Legal Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group, has alleged that Meeks got a “sweetheart deal” on a 6,000-square-foot home he built in Queens. The NLPC said the home “was built by Robert Gaskin, a contractor who does work on numerous projects for which Meeks has secured taxpayer funds.” Meeks paid $830,000 for the home in October 2007, but it was appraised at nearly $1.24 million less than a year later.
In 2008, Meeks was fined $63,000 by the Federal Election Commission for improperly using campaign funds to pay personal expenses.
Meeks has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, and he has attacked groups like NLPC for investigating him and other House Democrats, such as New York Rep. Charles Rangel.