Saturday, October 31, 2020

100 PERCENT - Election 2020 - Predictions

The biggest race is that of President of the United States. Four years ago I was the only Bronx political reporter to openly call the race for Donald Trump. During the past four years Donald Trump was cruising to an easy victory, that is until the Corona Virus started in China. That virus made its way across Asia into Europe, and finally to the United States. Now every Democrat who blamed Trump from anything to everything blames him for the Corona Virus.

Only four incumbent presidents in post 1900 United States history who served a full four year term were not reelected to a second term. They were William Taft 1909 - 1913, Herbert Hoover 1929 - 1933, Jimmy Carter 1977 - 1981, and George Bush Sr. 1989 - 1993. Only four Vice Presidents have been elected President, George Bush Sr. in 1988, Martin Van Buren in 1856, Thomas Jefferson in 1800, and John Adams in 1796. 

While certain people admonish Trump for his friendships with certain foreign countries he is the only president since Jimmy Carter not to have participated in a war with another country. The national economy has continued to grow even with the pandemic, and Trump is the first U.S. President to recognize  Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

As I did four years ago I predict that Donald Trump will be elected, this time to a second term as president of the United States. As was the case four years ago the race is too close to call, and may not be fully determined until sometime in December. Four years ago Donald Trump won one election district in the 80th A.D. This year Donald Trump should win seven election districts in the 80th and 82nd assembly districts combined. 

On the local Bronx side two elections will have surprising results. In the 14th Congressional race in 2018 current Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won a surprising victory over the long time incumbent, and she is now the incumbent. When all the votes are counted I expect AOC to be the winner, but her opponent John Cummings will have come closer than many expect him to, at least in the Bronx. It is the Queens part of the district that will provide the safe margin of victory for the incumbent congresswoman. AOC's primary opponent who is running on a minor third party line should be of no significance in the race.

The race to watch is the 80th Assembly race where in 2012 now Councilman Mark Gjonaj received more votes than all three of the other candidates including the incumbent (at that time) assemblywoman. Gjonaj then won election to the city council in 2017, and in April of 2018 a special election was held that handed the assembly seat to Gjonaj's then Chief of Staff with a total vote count which was less then the number of votes Gjonaj alone received in 2012. Said assembly member did not have a primary in 2018 or in 2020, and announced her decision to run for Bronx Borough President next year months before her November election which has angered many people that she is taking the people of the 80th A.D. for granted, while she campaigns for Bronx BP. Her leading an anti police march through the district right past the park where hundreds of people showed to support the police has angered others in the 80th A.D. 

Mr. Gene De Francis is the head of the Allerton Merchants Association, an officer of the 49th Precinct Community Council, and former Veteran of the armed forces which makes him a formidable opponent to the weak incumbent. The fact that candidate Gene De Francis is running with Conservative minded John Cummings in a conservative minded district is an added plus, including the two Democratic Clubs on the West side of the 80th Assembly District that have endorsed Gene De Francis. We see another Mark Gjonaj type person in Gene De Francis, and for that reason with the added minuses of the weak incumbent who also lost both of the District Leaders on her slate in the June primary we call this race for Gene De Francis by a margin of 54% to 46 %.

The writer Robert Press has an excellent record of calling close political races either exactly or within the margin of error.

Friday, October 30, 2020

New York Man Charged With Filing False Tax Returns Seeking Multimillion-Dollar Refunds


 Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Jonathan D. Larsen, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (“IRS-CI”), announced that JAMEEN WALKER was arrested yesterday in Manhattan, and charged with making a false claim, subscribing to false tax returns, and theft of government funds in connection with WALKER’s repeated filing of false tax returns claiming multimillion-dollar tax refunds based on fictitious income and withholdings.  WALKER will be presented today before United States Magistrate Judge Ona Wang.

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “As alleged, Jameen Walker filed multiple false tax returns, both corporate and individual, ultimately defrauding the IRS out of nearly $7 million.  Now he will have to answer for his alleged crimes.  

IRS-CI Special Agent-in-Charge Larsen said:  “Identifying refund fraud schemes is a priority for IRS-Criminal Investigation.  I want honest taxpayers to know that we are committed to holding those accountable that choose to defraud the government.  Mr. Walker’s allegedly false claims for millions of dollars in fraudulent refunds should be considered an attack on the tax system and the general public who believe in it and follow the rules, and we take these allegations very seriously.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment[1] unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

Between 2016 and 2018, WALKER repeatedly filed tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) falsely claiming that a corporation he controlled had paid him millions of dollars and withheld millions of dollars in federal taxes.  WALKER then fraudulently sought large federal tax refunds based on those claims.     

In 2016, WALKER filed multiple Forms 1040 (“U.S. Individual Income Tax Return”)   falsely claiming that Stallings Empire Corporation paid him $19.7 million, of which $14.6 million had been withheld.  In fact, Stallings Empire Corporation did not withhold or pay any money in federal taxes on behalf of WALKER or any other employee.  Nevertheless, based on the false claims in his Forms 1040, WALKER sought a federal tax refund of more than $6.8 million. 

Though the IRS did not issue that refund, WALKER continued to file fraudulent returns.  In 2018 and 2019, WALKER filed multiple false Forms 941 (“Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return”) and 941-X (“Adjusted Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund”) for Stallings Empire Corporation for tax year 2018.  In each, WALKER falsely claimed that Stallings Empire Corporation had paid millions of dollars and withheld commensurately large amounts.  In early 2019, WALKER filed a Form 1040 for tax year 2018, claiming more than $16 million in income, $12.2 million in withholdings, and seeking a multimillion-dollar refund.  Based on this false tax return, the IRS ultimately issued a tax refund check to WALKER for more than $6.9 million.  In August 2019, WALKER deposited that refund check at a bank in the Bronx, New York, and proceeded to withdraw and spend in excess of $85,000 before the bank restricted his account.      

WALKER, 46, of New York, New York, is charged with one count of making a false claim, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three counts of subscribing to a false tax return, each of which carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison, and one count of theft of government funds, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of IRS-CI and the Special Agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in this case.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine Reilly and Dina McLeod are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

[1] As the introductory phase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment, and the description of the Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Previously Convicted Former Physician Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud, Health Care Fraud, And Aggravated Identity Theft

 Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that SPYROS PANOS, a former orthopedic surgeon, who was previously convicted of health care fraud, pled guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas to charges of wire fraud, health care fraud, and aggravated identity theft, in connection with a scheme in which he assumed the identity of a licensed orthopedic surgeon and obtained over $876,000 in payments for reviewing patient files in connection with healthcare appeals and Workers Compensation cases. 

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “Spyros Panos, a former surgeon who surrendered his medical license after a prior conviction in this District for health care fraud, has admitted to committing health care fraud again, this time by impersonating a licensed doctor.  Now, for a second time, Panos awaits sentencing for his criminal conduct.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment to which PANOS pled guilty, PANOS, an unlicensed physician, perpetrated a scheme to defraud medical peer review companies by impersonating a licensed orthopedic surgeon practicing in Westchester County (“Doctor-1”).  Among other things, PANOS submitted Doctor-1’s credentials to peer review companies and conducted peer reviews using Doctor-1’s name and credentials.  During the course of the scheme, PANOS defrauded the peer review companies of $876,389.97. 

According to court documents, in advance of his November 2, 2020, trial, PANOS submitted proposed defense exhibits that included fraudulent emails and records.

PANOS, 52, of Hopewell Junction, New York, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, one count of health care fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison.  The statutory maximum sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge.

PANOS is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Karas on March 16, 2021, at 10:00 a.m.

In connection with his plea, PANOS agreed to forfeit $876,389.97, and to pay restitution in the same amount.

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the New York Inspector General for their assistance. 

Governor Cuomo Updates New Yorkers on State's Progress During COVID-19 Pandemic - OCTOBER 30, 2020


Positive Testing Rate in All Focus Zone Areas is 2.75 Percent; New York State Positivity Outside All Focus Zone Areas is 1.38 Percent     

Statewide Positivity Rate is 1.53 Percent

12 COVID-19 Deaths in New York State Yesterday

 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today updated New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"Our state had one of the highest infection rates in the nation, if not the globe, and we now have the third lowest in the country. We cannot become complacent and risk going backwards," Governor Cuomo said. "We continue to closely monitor the data and handle micro-clusters as they happen, as well as watching what is happening around us as cases surge again across the country. As we head into winter months, it will be critical for all New Yorkers to keep up the good work of wearing our masks, washing our hands and remaining socially distant - and above all staying New York Tough."

The Governor noted that the positive testing rate in all focus areas under the state's Micro-Cluster strategy is 2.75 percent, and outside the focus zone areas is 1.38 percent. Within the focus areas, 16,461 test results were reported yesterday, yielding 453 positives. In the remainder of the state, not counting these focus areas, 130,424 test results were reported, yielding 1,802 positives.

Today's data is summarized briefly below:

  • Patient Hospitalization - 1,085 (+0)
  • Patients Newly Admitted - 133
  • Hospital Counties - 44
  • Number ICU - 243 (+6)
  • Number ICU with Intubation - 116 (+2)
  • Total Discharges - 79,621 (+120)
  • Deaths - 12
  • Total Deaths - 25,804

NYS Office of the Comptroller - State Contract and Payment Actions in September


 In September, the Office of the State Comptroller approved 1,185 contracts for state agencies and public authorities valued at $48.9 billion and approved more than 27.1 million payments worth more than $25.9 billion. The Office rejected 109 contracts and related transactions valued at $580 million and more than 9,900 payments valued at nearly $39.8 million primarily for mistakes, insufficient support for charges, and improper payments. More information on these contracts and payments is available at

The Governor’s Executive Order 202 suspended the Office of the State Comptroller’s review and approval of contracts related to the COVID-19 crisis until November 3, 2020. At the administration's request, OSC has been expediting payments for purchases. These payments are reported on Open Book.

Major Contracts Approved

Office of Children & Family Services

  • $2.8 million with Libera Inc. for implementation of vocational rehabilitation case management system.
  • $1.6 million with Snehal R. Sheth for psychiatric services at Brookwood Secure Center.

Department of Correctional Services

  • $4.4 million with Wyoming County Community Hospital for inmate hospital care at Wende Correctional Facility.

State Education Department

  • $24.4 million with Erie 1 Board of Cooperative Educational Services to manage statewide student and educator data repository.
  • $18.4 million with University of Kansas Center for Research for delivery of the New York State Alternate Assessment.

Department of Environmental Conservation

  • $15.8 million for water quality improvement projects including $5 million to the Albany Water Board, $5 million to the Belgrave Water Pollution Control District, $1.7 million to the City of Tonawanda, $1.6 million to the City of Kingston, $1 million to the City of Canandaigua, $900,000 to the Village of Lancaster, and $600,000 to the Village of Corfu.
  • $13.5 million to Nassau County for the Bay Park Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Office of General Services - Design & Construction

  • $10.2 million with Con-Tech Building Systems Inc. for classroom and office space at Upstate Correctional Facility in Franklin County.
  • $3.9 million with Marfi Contracting Corp. for roof replacement at David Axelrod Institute in Albany County.
  • $2.3 million with Burgio & Campofelice Inc. for classroom and office space at Orleans Correctional Facility in Orleans County.
  • $1.2 million with Hewitt Young Electric LLC for a natural gas standby generator at National Guard Joint Forces Headquarters in Albany County.

State University Construction Fund

  • $95.3 million with FAHS Construction Group Inc. to construct a new Health and Wellness Center at SUNY Upstate Medical Center.
  • $30.9 million with The Pike Co. to renovate Marshall Hall at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
  • $10.4 million with Scott Lawn Yard Inc. for residential building infrastructure improvements at SUNY Brockport.

State University of New York

  • $5.5 million with Plymouth Rock Energy LLC for supply of natural gas at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University.
  • $4.4 million with Philips North America LLC for maintenance and repair services for imaging equipment at Upstate Medical University.
  • $1.9 million with Automated Building Management Systems for service and maintenance of the Building Management System at Stony Brook University.

Department of Transportation

  • $16 million with H&L Contracting LLC for rehabilitation of 6.6 miles of asphalt on Southern State Parkway in Nassau County.
  • $9 million with National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) for reimbursement of costs associated with the rehabilitation of bridge decks on the Hudson service line in Columbia and Dutchess counties.
  • $6.6 million with Oakgrove Construction Inc. for asphalt concrete pavement rehabilitation on various routes in Cattaraugus County.
  • $5 million with Gannett Fleming Management Services LLC for operation of the Statewide Transportation Information and Coordination Center.
  • $4.8 million with United Fence and Guard Rail Corp. for replacement of overhead sign structures at 26 locations in Suffolk County.
  • $2.8 million with D&H Excavating Inc. for milling and resurfacing and drainage and sidewalk upgrades in Erie County.
  • $2.1 million with Howard L. Boswell Engineering & Landscape Surveyor PC for construction inspection services for I-84 bridge rehabilitation in Orange County.
  • $1 million to the Village of Croton-on-Hudson for the Croton-Harmon parking facility.

Major Payments Approved

Tax Refunds

  • $290.8 million for 128,000 personal income tax refunds.
  • $253.5 million for 309,000 property tax credits.
  • $74.9 million for 11,000 corporate and other refunds.

City University of New York

  • $1.1 million for purchases to support the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Department of Civil Service

  • $267 million to CVS Caremark to provide pharmacy benefit services for the Empire, Excelsior and Student Employee Health plans.
  • $30.6 million to Beacon Health Options Inc. for benefit services for the Mental Health & Substance Abuse Program for the NYS Empire Plan.

State Education Department·      

  • $5.4 billion in general aid payments to 678 school districts.
  • $16.2 million in BOCES aid payments to three organizations. 

Empire State Development Corporation 

  • $1.5 million to 43North LLC for planning, renovation and construction costs to expand incubator space at the Seneca One Tower in Buffalo.

Office of General Services

  • $13 million for hourly-based IT services, including $2.2 million to PSI International Inc., $2 million to MVP Consulting Plus Inc., $1.6 million to Knowledge Builders Inc., $1 million to IIT Inc., and $6.2 million to 28 other vendors.

Department of Health

  • $32.1 million to Maximus, Inc. for assistance with the Health Benefit Exchange, including insurance enrollment and call center operations.
  • $21.7 million to New York eHealth Collaborative Inc. for the Statewide Health Information Network for New York.
  • $2.2 million for purchases to support the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

  • $8.4 million to New York City for the Urban Area Security Initiative Program.
  • $5.3 million for purchases to support the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Office of Information Technology Services

  • $3.3 million for purchases to support the COVID-19 pandemic response.

 Department of Labor

  • $7.7 billion for payments under the Unemployment Insurance, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and Lost Wages Assistance programs.

Office of Mental Health

  • $4.1 million for purchases to support the COVID-19 pandemic response.

State University of New York

  • $3.7 million for purchases to support the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Department of Transportation

  • $1.5 million to National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) for design and construction of the Hudson Line Positive Train Control System.


The office rejected more than 9,900 payments valued at nearly $39.8 million, including tax refunds and credits valued at more than $2.9 million. The Comptroller’s auditors also recovered more than $84,000 from vendors owing debts to the state, and held payments of more than $93,000 pending resolution of disputes between subcontractors and prime contractors.

Cumulatively through September, for calendar year 2020, the Comptroller’s office has approved 10,787 contracts valued at $148.9 billion and has approved more than 144.7 million payments worth nearly $170.5 billion, including nearly 127.7 million unemployment insurance payments valued at more than $50.4 billion. The office has rejected 982 contracts and related transactions valued at $4.2 billion and more than 114,800 payments valued at nearly $352.2 million primarily for mistakes, insufficient support for charges, and improper payments.

Comptroller Stringer Releases Fiscal Year 2020 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report


 New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer released the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, which includes the City’s audited financial statements for the year, outlines important economic and financial data about New York City, and highlights the work of the Comptroller’s Office during the fiscal year. This year’s CAFR details the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic fallout has had on the city’s finances and its workforce.

“Amid a global pandemic and unprecedented economic crisis, our work of holding government accountable continues strongly. The road from this crisis to recovery will not be easy, but my office remains committed to ensuring we build back better,” said New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. “The annual CAFR is a benchmark overview that makes sure the City stays true to its commitments to New Yorkers – which is what our work in government is all about. I thank the dedicated professionals who serve in the five pension systems, the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, the Office of the Actuary, and the staff of our Bureau of Accountancy, led by Deputy Comptroller Jacqueline Thompson, for their continued commitment to our office’s work and for compiling this critical report.”

In accordance with the City Charter, the CAFR is released annually no later than October 31. In addition to the financial statements of the City as a whole, explanatory notes to the financial statements, and supplemental financial and statistical information about the City, the CAFR contains the basic financial statements of the City’s five pension systems and closely-related entities such as NYC Health + Hospitals, the NYC Water and Sewer System, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC).

For the 40th consecutive year, the Fiscal Year 2019 CAFR was awarded the prestigious Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association.

Highlights from the FY 2020 CAFR include:

New York City’s Finances and Economy 

In Fiscal Year 2020, the General Fund had revenues and other financing sources of $95.058 billion and expenditures and other financing uses of $95.099 billion, which results in a deficit of $41 million, including restricted fund activities. The operating surplus, less restricted fund activities of $46 million as provided by State legislation passed in October 2019, is $5 million.

The COVID-19 pandemic and related shutdowns of business activity affected the last quarter of Fiscal Year 2020.  In New York City, employment plunged by almost 20 percent from February to April and grew by a smaller 3.2 percent from April to June. This nearly 20 percent decline in New York City employment was equivalent to the loss of an unprecedented 910,050 jobs between February and April.

Small businesses in New York City have suffered a devastating blow. Small business revenues declined dramatically in March. Manhattan small business revenue had declined by 70 percent by the end of March as businesses shuttered and commuters stayed home. Despite some recovery, Manhattan small business revenue in early July was still down over 40 percent from the beginning of January.

Outer borough small businesses fared better but still experienced revenue declines of 40 percent to 60 percent by early April. In July, Staten Island and Queens small business revenue remained over 20 percent down from January, while in the Bronx, small business revenue has begun to recover, and is up 9 percent over January.

The Comptroller’s Office 

Bureau of Asset Management — The Comptroller’s Bureau of Asset Management is the investment advisor to the City’s five retirement systems.

  • As of June 30, 2020, the Bureau of Asset Management had $213.6 billion in assets under management for the five New York City retirement systems.
  • The pension trust fund assets increased by $5.7 billion in FY20, for a return of 4.4 percent.
  • Launched Boardroom Accountability Project 3.0, a new first-in-the-nation initiative calling on companies to adopt a policy requiring the consideration of both women and people of color for every open board seat and for CEO appointments, a version of the “Rooney Rule” pioneered by the National Football League (NFL). By June 2020, 16 public companies implemented these Rooney Rule policies. In addition, in July 2020, the Comptroller’s Office called on 67 S&P 100 companies that recently released supportive statements on racial equity to publicly disclose the race, ethnicity, and gender of their employees.

Bureau of Public Finance — The Bureau of Public Finance works with the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget to issue bonds to finance the City’s extensive capital program and to refund outstanding bonds for savings.

  • The City and the New York City Transitional Finance Authority (TFA) issued a total of $7.61 billion of long-term bonds to finance the City’s capital needs.
  • The New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority (the Water Authority) issued a total of $1.81 billion of bonds to finance the capital needs of the City’s water and sewer systems.

  • Refundings of bonds of the City generated $275.87 million in budgetary savings and refundings of Water Authority bonds generated $660.63 million of savings over the life of those bonds.

  • As of June 30, 2020, the City’s outstanding General Obligation debt, TFA’s Future Tax Secured debt, and the Water Authority’s debt together totaled $110.35 billion.

Bureau of Labor Law — The Comptroller’s Office sets and enforces prevailing wage rates for construction work on New York City public work projects and building service work on City funded work sites. In FY20, the office:

  • Assessed over $1.6 million in underpayments and interest against employers that violated New York’s prevailing wage laws.
  • Imposed penalties totaling $46,000 against  City contractors.

  • Opened 74 new cases, resolved 79 cases, and debarred 7 contractors for egregious conduct.

The bureau also:

  • Promulgated new regulations in the Rules of the City of New York concerning civil penalties for employer violations of prevailing wage rate notice posting and pay stub requirements on City public work projects under Labor Law Article Eight.
  • Worked with the New York State Attorney General’s Office on a settlement of nearly $3 million with the developers and landlords of a luxury apartment building in downtown Brooklyn for failing to pay prevailing wage to their building service employees under RPTL § 421-a.

  • Settled a civil action for over $1.1 million against a successor surety on a payment bond issued on City construction contracts.

  • Launched a phone-banking initiative to connect over 1,000 workers with unclaimed prevailing wage awards worth over $2.5 million, partnering with community, labor and news media organizations.

Bureau of Economic Development — Since 1981, the City Pension Funds have invested in Economically Targeted Investments (ETIs). As of June 30, 2020:

  • The ETI program, including real assets and future commitments, constituted $3.07 billion in total assets.
  • The ETI program one-year overall performance was at 7.60 percent net of fees as of June 30, 2020.

  • During Fiscal Year 2020, the ETI program invested in 8,900 affordable housing units, invested in construction loans for 1,138 affordable housing units, and made future commitments to invest in another 427 affordable housing units in order to facilitate their construction.

Bureau of Audit — The City Charter requires the Comptroller’s Office to audit some aspect of every City agency at least once every four years and to audit and investigate all matters relating to or affecting the finances of the City. In Fiscal Year 2020, the Comptroller’s Office:

  • Issued 48 audit, investigation and special reports on the operational and financial performance, effectiveness and service quality of City programs and City contracts.

Office of Diversity Initiatives — The Comptroller’s Office of Diversity Initiatives works to develop innovative solutions that expand economic opportunities for all, serving as a watchdog for the inclusion of women and people of color in City business.

In Fiscal Year 2020, the Comptroller’s Office:

  • More than tripled its spending with minority- and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) achieving 49 percent spending in Fiscal Year 2020, up from 12 percent in Fiscal Year 2014.
  • Allocated $13.2 billion in New York City assets under management to diverse businesses, up from $8.8 billion in Calendar Year 2013.

  • Expanded capital commitments to emerging managers by allocating an additional $600 million to its direct private equity Emerging Manager Program.

  • Increased its goal to allocate 12 percent to emerging managers across each asset class.

  • Continued tracking the number of M/WBEs on the prequalified list of certified public accountants — a list of firms that can provide audit services to the City’s agencies. In Fiscal Year 2020, there were 20 M/WBEs prequalified to provide the City with audit services.

  • Championed a Charter Revision proposal to create a Chief Diversity Officer reporting to the Mayor and one in every agency. The Commission ultimately voted to codify the current citywide director to the Charter and added that the position report directly to the Mayor, which New Yorkers voted to approve.

  • Hosted biweekly Comptroller M/WBE University webinars, engaging 1,600 diverse firms on topics such as available resources and business opportunities in the public and private sector.

  • Surveyed more than 500 M/WBEs on the impact of COVID-19 on their firms. The survey highlighted that 85 percent of M/WBEs believed they could not survive for six more months due to limited access to COVID related contracts and financial aid.

  • Every year, the Comptroller’s Office hosts the Annual M/WBE & Emerging Manager Conference for over 600 M/WBE investors. The conference provides an opportunity to minority and women asset managers to learn how to do business with our various asset classes and speed-networking with pension consultants.

To view the full report, click here.

Governor Cuomo Announces State Police and Local Law Enforcement Crackdown on Impaired Driving This Halloween


Special Enforcement Campaign Will Run from October 30 through November 1

 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the New York State Police and local law enforcement will increase patrols to crack down on impaired driving and underage drinking through Halloween. This special enforcement campaign runs from Friday, October 30, until noon on Sunday, November 1.

"While we are encouraging everyone to celebrate Halloween safely and responsibly during this pandemic, we must continue to protect against the needless accidents and preventable tragedies from impaired driving," Governor Cuomo said. "The message is simple - impaired drivers will be caught and will be held accountable and I urge anyone who is not fit to get behind the wheel to make other arrangements during this holiday."

State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said, "State Troopers will be highly visible throughout Halloween weekend looking for impaired and reckless drivers. Children and parents will be out walking and drivers need to exercise extreme caution. Make safety your top priority and don't get behind the wheel if you've been drinking."

DMV Commissioner and Chair of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Mark J.F. Schroeder said, "The Governor's Traffic Safety Committee proudly supports this enforcement campaign that will help get impaired drivers off the road. Halloween should be a fun time for all those participating—don't turn it into a tragic event by making the reckless decision to drive impaired. Have a plan to get home safely and watch for pedestrians."

Motorists can expect to encounter sobriety checkpoints and additional DWI patrols during this period. Law enforcement will also be looking for motorists who are using their phones and other electronic devices while behind the wheel. Drivers should also remember to "move over" for stopped emergency and hazard vehicles stopped on the side of the road.

Troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) vehicles as part of this crackdown in order to more easily identify motorists who are violating the law. CITE vehicles allow the Trooper to better observe driving violations.  These vehicles blend in with every day traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.

Halloween night can beespecially dangerous due to the high number of children and families out trick-or-treating. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that from 2014 to 2018, 145 people were killed nationwide in impaired driving fatalities on Halloween night. According to NHTSA, 41% of the motor vehicle fatalities on Halloween night involved impaired drivers.

During last year's initiative, State Troopers arrested 280 people for impaired driving and issued 21,467 total tickets. Troopers also investigated 2,092 crashes, which resulted in three fatalities and 269 people injured.

State Police will also be targeting the illegal sale of alcohol to minors through underage drinker enforcement details statewide.

The Halloween impaired driving enforcement initiative is funded by the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC). The GTSC and the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation remind motorists that their "Have a Plan" mobile app, is available for Apple, Android and Windows smartphones. The app enables New Yorkers to locate and call a taxi or rideshare service and program a designated driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties, and provides a way to report a suspected impaired driver.

If you drive drunk or drugged, you not only put your life and the lives of others at risk, you could face arrest, jail time, and substantial fines and attorney fees. The average drinking and driving arrest costs up to $10,000.

Arrested drunk and drugged drivers face the loss of their driver's license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, fines and court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost time at work.

The New York State Police, GTSC and NHTSA recommend these simple tips to prevent impaired driving:

  • Plan a safe way home before the fun begins;
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
  • If you're impaired, use a taxi or ride sharing service, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
  • Use your community's sober ride program;
  • If you suspect a driver is drunk or impaired on the road, don't hesitate to contact local law enforcement;

If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.



Mayor Bill de Blasio today released the following statement on the sale of the New York Mets:
“The New York City Law Department has completed its legal review of the proposed sale of the Mets. New York City does not object to the sale, and the Mets may proceed with the transaction.”

From NYPD Commissioner Shea - Repeat Offender


Level 1:
A recent car stop for a traffic infraction, & this illegal & defaced 9mm gun led to the arrest of a Bronx man with a pending gun case from last year. officers brought him back to court. Again.