Wednesday, April 23, 2008
New York City Elected Officials Accused of "Nepotism" in Funneling Taxpayer Dollars to Family-Run Charities
The New York Daily Newspaper, in a story, reports that a Brooklyn Councilmember, Erik Dilan, "funneled more than $180,000 in taxpayer money into a small nonprofit run by his wife." The story further reports that Dilan was the "sole sponsor of 'discretionary' city funds for . . . [his wife's nonprofit], North Brooklyn Community Council." It is reported that [t]he nonprofit started out organizing youth football and has expanded almost entirely with government money."
In New York, "[e]ach City Councilmember gets a pot of 'discretionary' money to use for pet projects in their districts. Potential misuse of these funds is at the heart of an ongoing probe by the city Department of Investigation and the Manhattan U.S. attorney." The story reports that Dilan is not the only city councilman to come under fire. "Two aides to City Councilman Kendall Stewart (D-Brooklyn) have been charged with embezzling $145,000 from a nonprofit supported with 'discretionary' funds. Stewart has not been charged and denies wrongdoing." In addition, "City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo (D-Bronx) sponsored $80,000 in member items for a Bronx nonprofit that employed her sister and a nephew."
In defense of the practice, the story reports that when asked, Dilan said that he told the city council but no one objected to the funneling of the discretionary funds to his wife's nonprofit.
See the full story for further discussion of the alleged misuse of nonprofits by elected officials in New York.