27 July 2005

Err Amerika, Missing Funds, and Possible Crime

Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin
Diverting federal funding to an organization or commercial business which has the purpose of advancing a political agenda, is that a crime? If it isn't, it should be. It seems that a "non-profit" organization in the Bronx, NY, has done just that. Illegally transferred funding to Err-America (spelling intentional) in the form of a loan. WHAT!?! If you are governing a non-profit organization which is supposed to be catering to the needs of children in your neighborhood, chances are your organization is so cash strapped that making bill payments is a struggle. But apparently, the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club of the Bronx is just rolling in it. Because they have diverted federal funding intended to be used for providing activities for inter-city children to a highly liberal talk radio station. Now don't get me wrong, I believe that the Boy's & Girls Clubs of America do wonderful work. And if there is federal funding which they are able to receive to provide services for our youth, I believe that is money well spent. However, to divert those funds outside of the organization for any reason is criminal.
A Bronx congressman yesterday praised the smooth takeover of dozens of programs serving thousands of youngsters and seniors across the borough after the city yanked funding from two sponsoring agencies that have come under a cloud.

The nonprofit Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club and its affiliate Pathways for Youth found their city contracts, running into the millions of dollars, abruptly ended last month by the city Department of Investigation.

And it continues:

Crowley (D-Bronx, Queens) said he was "totally shocked - shocked is an understatement" when news of the loss of funding first broke.

He said he and other elected officials are still in the dark over the exact nature of the probe.

In its initial announcement, the DOI said it was probing allegations that program officials "approved significant inappropriate transactions and falsified documents that were submitted to various city agencies."

According to published reports, the allegations involve Charles Rosen, the founder of Gloria Wise who has stepped down as executive director, investing city contract funds in Air America Radio, the liberal talk radio network.

Evan Cohen, Air America's former chairman, had served as Gloria Wise's director of development. source

And the Bronx News says:

The Bronx News has learned, through informed sources, that the diversion of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club in Co-op City to the liberal Air America Radio is at the center of the city'’s probe of corruption at the local club.

The money, which was reportedly paid to Air America as a loan, was supposed to be paid back with interest, two unidentified informed sources told the News. One source added that Air America officials, led by an official of the Gloria Wise Club, agreed to help the local club by publicizing its activities.

To date, no indictments have been handed down in the New York City Department of Investigation'’s ongoing probe of the Gloria Wise Club'’s reported transfer of funds to Air America.

Most of the Gloria Wise Club'’s programs are for the Co-op City community, but the club also runs after-school programs in the Baychester/Edenwald and Soundview areas.

At the center of the investigation, in addition to Charles Rosen, the charismatic leader of the local club for the last 15 years, is Evan Cohen, who resigned, under fire, as chairman of Air America Radio shortly after its start as an alternative to conservative talk radio.

Cohen, at the time the alleged transfers of funds from the Gloria Wise Club to Air America took place, was also the director of Development for the local boys'’ and girls'’ club, the News has learned.

One source told the News that $480,000 in funds from the Gloria Wise Club is involved in the city'’s investigation of illegal transfer of funds from the local club.

A second unidentified source stressed that Rosen never sought to profit personally from the reported loan that the Gloria Wise Club gave to Air America. The source emphasized that Rosen'’s sole motive, even if it was a bit naive, was to benefit the Gloria Wise Club with the interest that Air America would pay for its loan from the local club.

The city'’s DOI is pursuing the probe because the Gloria Wise Club depends heavily on city funding for its operations. These funds are subject to extensive audits, as are funds received through the state and federal governments.

The Co-op City-based club, which Rosen has built into an empire in the Co-op City community, reportedly has 19 contracts and at least one grant with the city, worth a total of $9.7 million.

Over the last year, Rep. Joseph Crowley has secured two major federal grants for the Gloria Wise Club, one for a day-care program for Alzheimer'’s patients and their caregivers and the other for the community'’s NORC program for senior citizens. The grant for the program for Alzheimer'’s patients and their caregivers was for $250,000, while the grant for the NORC program was for $99,410.

In 2003, Crowley secured a $218,500 grant for a mentoring program that the Gloria Wise Club runs.

Cohen, who is reportedly at the center of the Gloria Wise probe, is a Guam-based investors who was reportedly a key principal in the start-up of Air America, which has been billed as the liberals' answer to conservative talk-show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Shaun Hannity, Bob Grant, Michael Savage, and G. Gordon Liddy. source

And and yet another story from the NY Daily News:
Two affiliated Bronx community programs serving thousands of youths and seniors have had their city funding yanked and their records reportedly seized amid an ongoing investigation.

Officials confirmed yesterday that the nonprofit Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club Inc., and its affiliate, Pathways for Youth Boys & Girls Club, have been determined to be "nonresponsible city contractors" in connection with several recently submitted contract proposals.

The city Department of Youth and Community Development said in a press release issued by Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn that its determinations were based on an ongoing DOI probe. The probe is investigating allegations that officials of the long-established community programs "approved significant inappropriate transactions and falsified documents that were submitted to various city agencies."

Last week, DOI investigators reportedly seized records from the two programs' offices at Co-op City.

DOI spokeswoman Emily Gest issued a terse "no comment" yesterday when asked if records had been seized and whether the probe rose to the level of a criminal investigation.

Local city, state and federal legislators involved in funding the programs met Sunday at the offices of Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley to discuss the situation, said Assemblyman Michael Benedetto (D-East Bronx).

He said it was his understanding that the city has brought in other nonprofit agencies, such as the Police Athletic League, to take over the various programs run by the two suspect groups, which have received $9.7 million in 19 contracts and one outright grant.

Benedetto said that workers at Gloria Wise have already been notified their last official day of work will be Thursday.

Besides the city Education Department and the Youth and Community Development Department, the DOI release stated that the Department for the Aging is terminating its contracts with Gloria Wise, and the city Housing Authority is terminating a grant agreement with Pathways for Youth. The Department for the Aging, according to a source, has contracted with the Jewish Association for the Aged to take over the senior center programs, starting July 5.

Calls yesterday to Charles Rosen, executive director of the organization, were not returned as of deadline. Originally published on June 28, 2005 source

Hmm, Err-Amerika with their hand in the cookie jar? Looks like it.
The leftist radio station has had trouble gaining momentum in the main stream. Why? Because they are so over the top. These are actors and comedians who claim that they know better than middle America how this nation is being run. And claiming that a Conservative approach to leadership is the ultimate evil. Nothing could be further from the truth. The only individuals that I know of who actually listen to these idiots are the moonbat bloggers like Daily POS (spelling intentional). Lefties who won't be satisfied until the nation is officially turned into the U.S.S.A. (United Soviet States of Amerika). So the diverting of federal funding in order so that Err Amerika can keep paying their bills while depriving the children of the Bronx services that the federal government is paying for should be considered a criminal enterprise. Does RICO apply? It may. Money has been extorted. Federal money. Do you actually think that Err Amerika is intending on repaying the money to Gloria Wise with interest? If you do, you are one simple SOB aren't you.
Thank you to our friends at Mudville Gazette and Outside the Beltway. And especially to Michelle Malkin Update: Just to clearify, I am aware that the articles that I've quoted specify that the grant money came from the City of New York. But where do you think that they got it? Keep that in mind before you send the hate mail. Blogger's 1st Amendment Pledge If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules.

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