News Briefs: Week of February 3


Six bills passed by the City Council in 2013 but vetoed by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg have been re-voted on by the new Council, which overrode the mayoral veto that had prevented them from becoming law.

The legislation includes a bill sponsored by Brooklyn Councilmember Vincent Gentile to establish a registry of people convicted of animal abuse that would be open to view by those who sell or adopt out animals, to prevent abusers from taking home a new pet.

Also passed were a bill requiring the NYPD to make available to the public and City Council hit-and-run data; another requiring the NYPD to report felony crimes in city parks to the Council; a bill adjusting provisions of the Earned Sick Time Act; a bill creating an environmental hazard remediation technician registration program; and a bill limiting the waiver of FDNY inspection fees for non-profits to religious institutions, clergy housing and some education institutions.



Brooklyn State Senator John Sampson, who was indicted in 2013 on charges of embezzlement, obstruction of justice, and witness and evidence tampering, is in more hot water.

Beyond the original charges, a new superseding indictment alleges that Sampson, who was part owner of a liquor store, also misled FBI agents about his involvement with the store, charging that, while he “concealed his ownership interest” in the store, he asked a staffer “to intervene” with the Department of Taxation & Finance on the store’s behalf, with Sampson allegedly instructing his staffmember to “do it on your own cell phone and do it on your own time,” words, according to the indictment, captured during a wiretap by investigators.

Sampson was arraigned in U.S. Eastern District Court on the new charge on Tuesday, February 4.



The Citizen’s Committee for New York City is looking for groups that want grants to complete community beautification projects.

Love Your Block grant-winners will receive $1,000 toward the projects they are working on, plus access to city services that may help streamline the projects’ completion.

Grants have previously been given for the cleanup of vacant lots, litter removal and flower-planting, among other things.

Applications are due by February 20. For further information, write or call 212-822-9563.

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