Meeks Gave Personal Trainer Taxpayer-Funded Job

October 15, 2007

If Rep. Gregory Meeks looks like he’s breaking a sweat lately, this might be why.

The Federal Election Commission recently rebuked the Queens Democrat for using close to $17,000 worth of political funds for personal use during his 2004 reelection bid, including $6,230 for a personal trainer – an expense his campaign treasurer justified as a means to “alleviate stress.”

A subsequent review of Meeks’ congressional payroll records revealed he hired his “fitness consultant,” Joseph Davidson, to serve as a “district aide” not long after the 2004 election, paying him $71,420 between January 2005 and this past June. “Alarm bells should be going off,” said Mary Boyle, spokeswoman for the government watchdog group Common Cause. “It definitely looks bad when you see members of Congress hiring their
personal trainers and putting them on the payroll.”

Read more: (Elizabeth Benjamin, “Dem’s Rising Star Didn’t Exercise Care,” The New York Daily News, 10/15/07)