nonprofits on notice
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is keeping an eye on the assorted charities raising money for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. In a statement released today, Mr. Schneiderman announced he sent a letter to 75 Sandy-focused nonprofits requesting information on their fundraising and spending activities, which he intends to post online.
“Our office commends all of the charities, and their volunteers and donors, who have come to the assistance of New Yorkers after Hurricane Sandy,” Mr. Schneiderman said in the press release. “In light of the importance of the recovery efforts, and the enormous amount of money raised in such a short period of time, it is critical that donors know where their money is going, and that funds are spent responsibly. In the name of transparency and accountability, we must ensure that funds raised for Hurricane Sandy relief are used for that purpose.”
An interesting article that appeared in yesterday’s print New York Post, but somehow hasn’t made its way online, details a major GOP donor’s ties to the Penn State sex scandal. The story, written by Carl Campanile, noted Lance Shaner, who gave the maximum donation of $2,500 to the Romney campaign and $100,000 to Mr. Romney’s super PAC Restore Our Future, served on the board of convicted child molester and retired Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky’s charity, Second Mile. Mr. Shaner also donated $155,550 to Republican Pennsylvania Tom Corbett’s gubernatorial campaign and the Pennsylvania Republican Party headquarters was named after him.
Clement Gardner, a campaign aide to State Senator Ruben Diaz, was charged today with embezzling $75,000 from a charity founded by the senator. In a press release announcing the indictment, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said his office is continuing its investigation into the charity and accused Mr. Gardner of using the Christian Community Benevolent Association, which operated senior centers and children’s services as “a personal piggy bank.”
“Today’s charges demonstrate our vigilance in ensuring that every taxpayer dollar is spent properly, and that corrupt individuals who betray the public trust to line their own pockets will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Mr. Schneiderman said.