News & Politics

Quinn-Bloomberg Aide Makes Illegal Campaign Calls, Wins New Six-Figure Job


There were twin verdicts yesterday in the Dialing-for-Dollars probe of Maura Keaney, the multi-tasking former aide to both Council speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg’s reelection campaign.

Mayor Bloomberg’s verdict was to immediately give Keaney a new six-figure job at his education department.

The verdict of the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board was that a modest fine will suffice. How modest? Well, calculated against the $150,000 bonus check she just received from a grateful Bloomberg for running his election field operation, the board’s $2500 assessment against Keaney for having asked some of her old union allies to shell out some campaign dough for Quinn back in April, 2007 comes to a … .016 percent tax.

As described by Keaney in a mea culpa disclosed yesterday by the board, her actions consisted of the following:

“In or around April 2007, during a discussion of fundraising ideas for the reelection campaign of Council Speaker Quinn, I volunteered to assist with a fundraising event planned for labor unions to be held on May 14, 2007. Shortly thereafter, I made between approximately six and twelve calls to union representatives to ask that they serve on the Host Committee for the event, which role would have required a contribution to the reelection campaign of Council Speaker Quinn. I also contacted Unite Here to ask them to donate their space for the event.”

This is a slightly better recollection than she had back in October when the Times‘ Serge Kovaleski asked her about the episode. Back then, she drew a complete blank as evidenced in her e-mail response to Kovaleski at the time and reprinted today: “This event was two and a half years ago, and I just don’t remember that much about it.”

To show how significant he believes this transgression was, Mayor Bloomberg chose yesterday to announce that he is shifting Keaney from his own payroll to that of the taxpayers. Keaney will become the new “Executive Director of External Affairs” at the city’s Department of Education. The job pays $143,000 a year. Keaney will handle all agency legislative and government affairs, and media operations.


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