Crain's Insider reports:
Maimonides Medical Center has been subpoenaed in a state probe of advertising payments made to a company owned by Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a hospital spokeswoman confirmed.
The payments are being investigated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Moreland Commission, a group of law enforcement officials that the governor empaneled this year to investigate wrongdoing in the state Legislature, following a rash of corruption scandals. A spokeswoman for the hospital said Maimonides, a major hospital in Brooklyn, was fully cooperating with the subpoena requests.
In July, Crain's reported that Mr. Hikind, the longtime Borough Park powerbroker who is Maimonides' local assemblyman, had routinely failed to disclose payments made to his advertising company, DYS Production. The company is paid for advertisers' commercials and promotion on the assemblyman's weekly radio program, The Dov Hikind Show. Other advertisers besides Maimonides also pay Mr. Hikind's production company and could be subjects of the commission's scrutiny as well.
After Crain's inquired in July about the omission of the payments from Mr. Hikind's required annual financial disclosures, he amended the forms dating back to 2006 to reflect his income from the advertising company. Only for 2012 did Mr. Hikind have to list the approximate amount, and he checked the box showing it was between $5,000 and $20,000. Public records don't show where the rest of DYS Production's money went. A spokesman for Mr. Hikind did not return a request for comment on Tuesday about the subpoenas.
Maimonides, which is in Mr. Hikind's district, has long advertised on his popular politics show, and voluntarily disclosed in July that it had paid Mr. Hikind's company $65,000 for its most recent year of advertising.…
Other aspects of Mr. Hikind's radio show also overlap with his public office. Political candidates have often paid Mr. Hikind's company, appeared on his show and been endorsed by him during the same election campaign. The show is co-hosted and run by Dov Cohen, an $80,000-a-year full-time aide in Mr. Hikind's Assembly office, and has shared space with Mr. Hikind's longtime political club, the United New York Democrats. The club often paid the rent on the space between 2006 and 2009, but as its campaign account was shut down in recent years, payments were made from Mr. Hikind's own campaign fund to the building's landlord. Campaign funds cannot be used for a candidate's personal or business expenses.…
Maimonides spent $470,000 on lobbying in 2011 alone.
It denies any wrongdoing regarding Hikind and says the advertising dollars it spent on Hikind's show was a small percentage of its overall ad spending.
However, Maimonides inexplicably hired Hikind's son-in-law, Rabin Rahmani, two years ago as the Director of Medical Education and Research at the hospital's gastroenterology division – even though Rahmani was only in his early 30s, had just completed his residency and a fellowship at the hospital, and many other more qualified and more senior candidates existed.
Meanwhile, lawmakers have dcided to refuse the Moreland Commission's requests for information about their sources of outside income, claiming the commission does not have the legal authority to compel them to provide that information – a claim a spokeswoman for the commission reportedly said is "legally indefensible."
You can read the entire Crain's report here.