- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf Bronx Council Member Spends Big…On Sister’s Org…With Tax Payer’s $ | Bronx News Networkbronx

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bronx Council Member Spends Big…On Sister’s Org…With Tax Payer’s $

The Daily News reported today on yet another example of nepotism in the Bronx. City Council member Maria del Carmen Arroyo funneled $82,500 from her discretionary funds last year to the non-profit organization, South Bronx Community Corp, which employs Arroyo’s sister and nephew.

In 2001 and 2002, before being elected to the Council, Arroyo made between $33,000 and $45,000 a year working at the organization.

According to the Daily News, “Arroyo's sister, Iris, was ‘fiscal officer’ for the South Bronx Community Corp., where a former employee accused her of incompetence that led to thousands of dollars of federal liens filed against the group.” In addition, the group listed Iris Arroyo’s son, Richard Izquierdo, as an executive at the agency. The Daily News added that he “claims he’s not paid” though.

Discretionary funds are the set amount of money that each Council member is given every year for spending throughout their district, at their discretion.

Also yesterday, two employees of Council member Kendall Stewart (Brooklyn) were charged in federal court with embezzling $145,000 of discretionary funds through a nonprofit which they were associated with.

And the Department of Investigation is still looking into some $4 million in discretionary funds that the council has given to phantom non-profits each for the past seven or eight years. They said they used the phantom non-profits to hold the money for later legitimate use, but it's unclear where that money has gone.

In response, Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn pledged to overhaul budget practices, and bring more transparency to discretionary spending.

-By Graham Kates

1 comment:

  1. In addition to the obvious issues raised by this behavior are the unseen side effects.

    Our agency, West Bronx Housing and Neighborhood Resource Center receives discretionary funding from Councilmembers Joel Rivera, and Oliver Koppell.

    Without this money we would lose valuable staff time, and be unable to assist the increasingly large number of people that ask for help each year (1,000 in FY'06, over 1,200 last year).

    Because of this crisis the agencies that administer the funding are double checking every grant they have, and so we are all being scrutinized much more closely.

    This is good in theory, but what it ends up translating to is more funds spent producing the new paperwork and less time spent with clients.

    So because some folks got greedy, everyone gets additional work.

    The cost to taxpayers, not only includes money directly taken, but also money in the form of added levels of oversight, and administration, as well as costs of prosecution.



Bronx News Network reserves the right to remove comments that include personal attacks, name calling, foul language, commercial advertisements, spam, or any language that might be considered threatening, libelous or inciting hate.

User comments are reviewed by BxNN staff and may be included or excluded at our discretion.

If what you have to say is unrelated to this particular post, please visit our readers' forum.