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.
Rep. Joseph Crowley, who has secured more than $500,000 in federal funding for Gloria Wise programs in the the past few years, said he and his staff “have spent countless hours” working with the city, the Co-op City community where a number of the programs are based, other Bronx elected officials and the new contractors.
He praised the city for what he called “an apparently seamless transfer of contracts” that have kept all the programs up and running without interruption for an estimated 20,000 or so youngsters, handicapped individuals and seniors.
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.
Why hasn’t this been all over the media? You’d think Rush, Hannity, and O’Reilly would be on this like Louisville Slugger on a hanging curveball.
In fact, I’d like to know why this hasn’t been front page in one of the New York dailies. It’s not like this is a secret; a neighborhood paper called The Gotham Gazette reprinted a story from the Bronx News on July 5:
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.
Predictably, Air America, while offering plenty of advice to President Bush on what to do about Karl Rove, Abu Ghraib, and Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, has nothing at all on its website about how it used hundreds of thousands of tax dollars intended to help underprivileged kids and seniors with Alzheimer’s.