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Congressman Defends Role In Hurricane Katrina Charity

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TWC News: Congressman Defends Role In Hurricane Katrina Charity
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After weeks of controversy, Congressman Gregory Meeks is defending his role in a charity meant to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The Queens Democrat has been under pressure over a fund co-organized with State Senator Malcolm Smith called New Yorkers Organized to Assist Hurricane Families.

In 2005, Meeks said every dime raised by the charity would go to those victims. But reportedly less than $2,000 of the $31,000 raised by the fund has been allocated. Meeks says that he had no responsibility for the organization and has called for a full accounting of the money raised.

"The first time I heard of any allegations in regards to the money not being spent the way it was, was when it was reported,” said Meeks on NY1’s “Inside City Hall.” “And I like you want a full accounting of those funds. I, like you, want to know where the money is, and am calling on people, and I have, to come up with the accountability of those funds because I had no knowledge of anything, of the people that was intended to receive those monies, I had no knowledge of those people not receiving the money."

Meeks also says he has no connection to and has never directed funds to the New Directions Local Development Corporation, the non-profit that was meant to administer the funds, even though his photo figures prominently on their website.

When asked if he would hesitate in the future to offer his name to organizations, Meeks declared that he would continue to support the constituents of his district.

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