Since we're on the subject of the Air Train, it is nice to know that some of what we suspected was true over a decade ago-that the selling of the Air Train was a corrupt act if we've ever saw one-is about to get some light shone on it. As the NY Post reports: "The Port Authority will turn off the spigot and stop sending money to a Queens charity. The agency's action comes a week after The Post revealed that the Rockaway Boulevard Local Development Corp. has received $2.5 million from the PA since 2003, and then spent much of it to buy a vacant lot and for street sweeping. "This matter has been turned over to the Port Authority inspector general and payments will cease during the course of their investigation," an agency statement said. The PA was to give Queens groups $13 million for community improvements as part of the development of the AirTrain rail system."
Boy, was it any wonder that in spite of the fact that we had organized over 500 mostly African American homeowners, not a single local elected official came out to support the community? Equally unsurprising was the fact that Greg Meeks and then council member Archie Spigner led the charge for the Port Authority. Archie should have been given an endowed chair in aeronautics over at York College for his yeoman-like efforts.
But someone needs to investigate just where all of the money went-$13 million is not chump change after all. And, as we have seen with the Katrina rip-off, the ability of these pols to glom on to public monies is without any ethical restraint. So, if there are investigations into AEG and the New Direction Local Development Corp-along with one into Meeks himself-it should take a magical mystery tour into the past sticky finger decade as well. One thing's for certain, Meeks will always be center stage-and his mentor Flake will always be a presence pulling the strings behind the curtain.
It should be recalled that one Ed Reed, who has been given some recent AEG notoriety, was Flake's man who was hired by the Port Authority on the AirTrain deal-so there is a constant corrupt thread running through this community and throughout the past decade and a half. Turning over the Southeast Queens rock will yield a lot of creepy crawly things we're sure. As the Post has reported: One of the strongest links between New Direction and Flake, the politically powerful minister from southeast Queens who has an 0.6 percent stake in AEG, is Edwin Reed, Flake’s former congressional chief of staff and chief executive officer of Flake’s development firm, the Greater Allen AME Community Development Corp. Reed served at one point as New Direction’s treasurer and told the Post he could not recall what happened to the missing funds."
All of which makes the jihad against Hiram Monseratte by the Queens Dems an example of high satire-where selective outrage misdirects attention away from the tawdry actions of those who hold-and want to maintain hold-over the reins of power (and the $pigot that the power controls). Hiram made himself into a classic scapegoat-but at the same time, and while the pyre was burning beneath the sacrificial lamb, the self seeking cabal was busy adding up the day's-and years'-cumulative receipts.