Margarita Lopez's Scientology tax money frauds

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http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/letters/50878.htm

Margarita Lopez's Scientology tax money frauds

August 7, 2005 -- THE ISSUE: Margarita Lopez's campaign financing and the Church of Scientology.

New Yorkers should be outraged by The Post's revelations that Councilwoman Margarita Lopez steered $630,000 in taxpayer monies to a questionable Church of Scientology "detoxification center" for 9/11 rescue workers ("Quid Pro Cult," Post Opinion, Aug. 3).

Neither the New York Fire Department, its unions, nor the medical community support that this method of detoxification is effective.

The apparent quid-pro-quo between the Church of Scientology and the councilwoman reeks of at least the breach of public trust, if not illegal activities.

I hope The Post keeps an investigation ongoing in regards to this matter.

I would not be surprised if this detoxification center were to morph in to a book and video distribution center for the church.

If our public money is being used to finance Scientology propaganda, I say we should in turn throw the book at both Lopez and the Church of Scientology. Matthew Harris Kew Gardens


It would seem that a public official with the past experience and political aspirations of City Councilwoman Margarita Lopez would know better than to risk the appearance of political impropriety.

Her engagement in a game of financial give and take with the Church of Scientology, a religious organization that claims actor Tom Cruise as a loyal follower, is now being questioned.

If the data unearthed by The Post's political columnist Stefan Friedman is accurate, and if Lopez did have money directed in return for potential future fund-raising favors to the Scientology-linked New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project, then red flags might legitimately be raised.

If, however, these assertions are inaccurate and the councilwoman did abide by all letters of the law, then it behooves Lopez to refute these accusations and prove this to be nothing more than a smear campaign against her as she seeks the office of Manhattan borough president.

One side has spoken.

In an election season, it's high time for the other side to clear the air.

Lewis Cohen
Manhattan

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