The de Blasio administration has frozen two City Council grants intended for an Orthodox Jewish security patrol in Borough Park.
Mayoral spokeswoman Karen Hinton announced this week that $35,000 intended for the Borough Park Shomrim would not be released “until relevant facts are determined to ensure Shmira Civilian Volunteer Patrol of Boro Park Inc. is a responsible vendor,” as reported by Capital New York.
A key member of the Shmira Civilian Volunteer Patrol — also known as Shomrim — was implicated earlier this week in the massive NYPD bribery scandal that recently snagged several South Brooklyn top cops.
Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein, 44, was arrested and slapped with bribery and conspiracy charges in connection with his efforts to pay members of the NYPD to “expedite” gun permit requests, which he sold for a profit, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office announced Monday.
Lichtenstein is listed as Shomrim’s chief financial officer according to a database of individuals with whom the City does business, says Capital New York.
The Borough Park branch of Shomrim received eight City contracts — totaling over $425,000 — from fiscal years 2010 to 2015, reports Capital New York.
The $35,000 that was just frozen by the de Blasio administration was allocated last year by Councilmembers David Greenfield and Chaim Deutsch.
“It’s very unfortunate and hurtful if these allegations are true,” Councilmember Chaim Deutsch told Ditmas Park Corner. “It does not minimize the great work of the volunteers and the minimal amount of funding allocated towards them is for the portion that they do to help the people in my district.”
Councilmember Greenfield echoed his colleague’s sentiments in in an email to Capital New York.
“”I was disappointed to learn of the allegations against this individual, however, it is my understanding that he [Lichtenstein] doesn’t even live in New York City, and when he left New York City he was no longer associated with Shomrim, which does outstanding work as the eyes and ears of Brooklyn communities,” Greenfield wrote.