For the second year in a row, Queens Congressman Gregory Meeks has been named one of the most corrupt politicians in Washington by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW.
Meeks, a Democrat, represents New York’s 6th Congressional District, which recently shifted to include parts of Elmont, Valley Stream and Floral Park.
CREW, a nonprofit watchdog group, named Meeks to the list because of an ongoing investigation in the House Ethics Committee of a loan he received in 2007 from a Queens businessman, which he failed to disclose for three years. He was previously investigated for an allegation that he received an improper loan in 2010. Following a referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics, that claim was thrown out in August 2011. But during the investigation, the OCE recommended looking into Meeks’s 2007 loan.
“The committee has also accepted the OCE’s recommendation for further review of an allegation that Representative Meeks failed to disclose a payment he received in 2007 in a timely manner,” a release from the Ethics Committee read.
Meeks insists that CREW’s corruption rankings are nothing more than a political stunt. He noted that the group filed a complaint regarding the 2010 loan that was eventually rejected by both the Office of Congressional Ethics and the Ethics Committee, and added that he believes his name will eventually be cleared.
“As I have said all along, I believe that when the Ethics Committee completes its process, it will reject the remaining allegation,” Meeks said. “Its latest press release is another irresponsible string of news clips without merit. I said long ago that I was going to correct my disclosure reports, and I did. I remain focused on jobs and the other important issues that matter to New Yorkers.”
The loan investigation is the main reason CREW named Meeks to its list for a second straight year. He said he believes the allegations will be overturned, like the 2010 loan allegations. “I do not know when the process will be completed, but I hope it will be soon,” he said. “I have cooperated fully, and expect to be treated fairly when it is all said and done.”
Meeks was one of 20 politicians named to the list, which included seven Democrats and 13 Republicans.