The Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame has struggled to get financial support from Long Island's residents, but local politicians have been willing to use taxpayer dollars to support the nonprofit run by Edward Morris Sr.:
A lease at a county-owned country club, which Bellone helped arrange, shows the Hall pays $500 per month for more than 850 square feet of office and storage space. Bellone also helped secure free future exhibit space in at least two other county-owned facilities.
District Attorney Thomas Spota
Morris' former defense attorney used $25,000 in asset forfeiture money to fund an anti-bullying video Morris requested. Spota has also donated $7,625 from his campaign fund, more than any other elected official.
Then-Legis. Brian Foley (D-Blue Point)
Helped secure a $250,000 Dormitory Authority of the State of New York grant in 2002, Morris said.
Tim Bishop (D-
Morris said Bishop helped him get the $201,184 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2005-2006 for building renovations.
Suffolk County Legislature
Lawmakers gave the Hall a $20,000 omnibus grant in 2005 and appropriated another $32,500 for the organization in 2006.
Assemb. Michael Fitzpatrick
Said he sponsored member items resulting in four grants totaling $50,000 from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for "ongoing renovations" to the museum.
Town of Islip
Morris said the space for the Hall's exhibit at MacArthur Airport, a public facility, was given free of charge.
The Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame
PURPOSE: To "honor outstanding persons, living or deceased, who have gained prominence and have made substantial contributions on behalf of themselves and Suffolk County in the fields of professional and amateur sports."
Craig Biggio, a Kings Park High School graduate who played football and baseball. He is set to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.
Carl Yastrzemski, a Bridgehampton High School graduate who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989.
Boomer Esiason, an East Islip High School graduate who was an NFL quarterback for the Jets and other teams.
Mike Tice, a Central Islip High School graduate who played and then coached in the NFL.