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NYC Council Zoning Chair Keeps Separate Campaign Fund For Real Estate Cash

David Greenfield, who chairs the New York City Council’s powerful Committee on Land Use, has a separate campaign account that allows him to skirt city rules and accept contributions from real estate companies, the New York Observer reported Monday.

The account in question has received $308,641.71 –- much of it from city developers – and can only be used to pursue a state office. City rules prohibit corporations, law firms and companies from giving to municipal political campaigns.

Greenfield’s committee oversees city zoning rules -– an important matter for real estate firms.

Joseph Sitt, founder of major developer Thor Equities, has given Greenfield’s state account $10,000. Sitt may soon seek zoning changes for properties in south Brooklyn, real estate news site TheRealDeal.com reported.

Kalman Yeger, who manages the city and state campaign funds for Greenfield, defended the arrangement from insinuations of impropriety.

“It is not uncommon for candidates to establish a separate committee for a potential future race,” he told the Observer. “This is normal, is permitted and anticipated by law, and this committee follows every legal requirement.”

Greenfield represents the heavily-Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park as well as other communities in central Brooklyn.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at solomon@forward.com or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon

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