Former Assemblyman Vito Lopez distanced himself from the Bushwick charity he founded when government investigators probed the group’s tax filings in 2010 while he was still in office. Now the charity is distancing itself from Vito Lopez.
Top Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council officials said that the $422,000 they received in earmarks from the City Council will go toward ongoing programs and were not a result of political patronage from their one-time benefactor.
“The city and state fund these programs because RBSCC has for nearly 40 years been a recognized provider of quality services to the neediest residents of the Ridgewood Bushwick community,” said James Cameron, Ridgewood Bushwick’s CEO. “RBSCC’s new management and current board of directors appreciate the continuing faith that the state and city of New York have in our efforts.”
The bulk of the contributions came from Councilman Erik Dilan, who has defended the worthiness of the charity’s mission, which include legal aid, senior centers and lead paint remediation programs. Councilman Steve Levin,whose district does not include Ridgewood Bushwick’s catchment area, also gave the group $9,000 to fund a summer picnic for thousands of New York City seniors in Long Island.