A civilian patrol group that had its funding frozen over ties to the NYPD corruption scandal is getting $35,000 more in taxpayer grants from City Council members, budget documents released Monday show.
The Shmira Civilian Volunteer Patrol of Borough Park was awarded a $30,000 member item by Councilman David Greenfield, and another $5,000 by Chaim Deutsch part of the nearly $60 million in discretionary cash handed out by the Council to favored local groups.
Alex (Shaya) Lichtenstein, who is listed as an officer of the Shmira, was arrested in April for allegedly bribing cops with cash and other goodes to expedite gun permit requests.
After that bust, the mayor’s office slapped a hold on payments on a previous round of grants, also totaling $35,000 saying they had to determine if the group was a “responsible” vendor.
The safety patrol, also known as Shomrim, fields an influential volunteer security force in the heavily Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn neighborhood.
“The organization provides an important public service to many communities in my district,” said Greenfield (D-Brooklyn). Deutsch did not respond to a call for comment.
A Council spokesman said the award would have to be approved by the mayor’s office of contracts before the cash would be paid out. De Blasio’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Since 2010, the patrol group has brought in nearly half a million dollars in city funding.
In all, the Council handed out about $59 million in member item cash to groups revealed Monday night — up from $52.6 million last year. It’s part of the $82.1 billion city budget set to be voted on Tuesday.
Taking home the biggest pot of local initiative money was the Hispanic Federation, which was awarded $645,500. Next up were Parks Department projects, with $358,000, and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s Brooklyn Alliance, which brought in $305,000.
Mayor de Blasio campaigned against the member item system and vowed to abolish it, calling it too easy to corrupt, but after taking office he quickly relented and let the Council keep doling out the cash.
Under a system launched two years ago, every Council member got $400,000 for local projects, with extra cash on top of that distributed based on the poverty level in their districts.