Published in
The Empire

Guilty plea at Ridgewood Bushwick

The Staten Island District Attorney announced an employee at the politically connected non-profit has pleaded guilty to falsifying attendance records in order to keep an afterschool program they were running afloat.

The guilty plea by Tyess Crespo will not lead to any direct legal action against the group's founder, Brooklyn Democratic County Leader Vito Lopez, according to the DA.

The investigation "produced no actionable evidence of criminal conduct by any party beyond those charges contained in the complaint filed in court against Ms. Crespo. This was the extent of my prosecutorial authority pursuant," the DA said in a public statement.

City auditors slammed the group for getting huge sums of money from city, state and federal lawmakers, and having an incredibly weak oversight of how that money was being spent. The implication had been that Lopez was using the group as a political vehicle - mobilizing thousands of voters whose housing, meals and transportation he controlled.

The statement by the DA is an attempt to close down his role in the matter. Federal investigators, and others, are still looking into the group's finances.