A Platinum Story -de Blasio Unscathed

 

The Real Deal

De Blasio won’t face federal, state charges in fundraising probe

News comes just days after Preet Bharara was fired

Mayor Bill de Blasio won’t be facing federal or state criminal charges for fundraising activities tied to his now defunct Campaign for One New York, officials announced on Thursday.

“After careful deliberation, given the totality of the circumstances here and absent additional evidence, we do not intend to bring federal criminal charges against the Mayor or those acting on his behalf relating to the fundraising efforts in question,” acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim announced on Thursday.

The investigations hinged on whether de Blasio solicited donations from developers and others who had business before the city in exchange for political favors. In October, the New York Time’s reported that Jona Rechnitz, the real estate developer at the center of the NYPD corruption scandal, was cooperating with authorities. The mayor was accused of giving a retired police official a high-level position in his administration after Rechnitz called him and requested the appointment as a “personal favor.” The federal investigation was conducted by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office led the state probe.

In his announcement, District Attorney Cyrus Vance stated that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that the mayor violated state election laws in his efforts to help Democrats take over the Republican-controlled state Senate. The investigation focused on whether he wrongfully sidestepped contribution limits to individual candidates by directing donations to upstate county committees. Vance said, however, that the actions “appear contrary to the intent and spirit of the laws that impose candidate contribution limits.”

Kim noted the unusual nature of announcing that his office wouldn’t pursue criminal charges, saying that, in this case, it was appropriate to not “unduly influence the upcoming campaign and Mayoral election.” The announcement comes just a few days after President Donald Trump fired Preet Bharara from his post as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

The decision not to prosecute clears what was a black cloud over the mayor’s re-election campaign. It remains to be seen if potential Democratic challengers who were waiting on the sidelines as the investigation dragged on will now step aside. Meanwhile, Republican mayoral candidate and Cushman & Wakefield executive Paul Massey announced Wednesday that he raised twice as much as de Blasio since Jan. 12.

Continue Reading here.

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Setting the Record Stright – David Bistricer and Clipper Equity, Morality Aside

David Bistricer Asking for “Factual Correctness” – Follow-up

Lost Messiah Contributor, August 5, 2016

This past week, we were asked to correct some factually inconsistencies we had posted with our source material being The Real Deal and the Wall Street Journal which we were advised had gotten their facts incorrect. The claim was that Mr. Bistricer had not been subpoenaed by the U.S. Attorney’s office. We still question that validity of that response, providing the benefit of the doubt, we posted.

In our opinion, while U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara may not have subpoenaed Bistricer, the request for a correction opened an investigative can of worms for us. Mr. Bistricer can hardly be referred to as the fair haired landlord. His history precedes him. Surely all of the reports are not “incorrect”. Whomever sent that gmail pushed back to our blog stating:”Your readers, as you state in your mission, deserve the truth.”!!!

Well, in the endeavor to find that truth, and inspired by the request that we correct the record, we decided to do some digging. Perhaps it is no coincidence that Mr. Bastricer was de Blasio’s re-election fundraiser this past March! We have already determined that being in Mr. de Blasio’s court offers significant political and future financial clout to his players.

To “set the record straight” we have posted information a screenshot from a Facebook post dedicated at uncovering the ills of landords like Bistricer/Chitrit and Clipper. We have posted from the Wall Street Journal. We have posted an article in the New York Post outlining Bastricer’s modus operadi techniques, terrorizing tenants to inspire them to move out – most of them elderly and in poor physical condition. This is shared directly from the Haysha Deitsch playbook. We have posted a review on Yelp (one of many which we feel deserves significant attention) outlining some of the deplorable conditions in buildings owned by Clipperer Equity/Bastricer, an interview with Mr. Bastricer (for which the video is also included at the top of the page) and a clip of the Wall Street Journal Report regarding the de Blasio fundraising investigation. Continue reading

Cabs, Fundraising, Mateo, Bundling, de Blasio, Straws?

 

boats21n-6-web

“$$$$ MAKES THE WORLD GO AROUND, THE TAXI DRIVER’S DRIVE, THE RELIGIOUS COMPRISE… $$$ MAKES THE …. 

Mayor de Blasio, the money, the fundraising, the people involved, it is all a loop. It’s like riding a roller coaster of loops. Now we add a cab driver and “religious” opportunist to the mix and we have, well… we really can’t use the expression in present company. 

How does this fit in with the site’s theme regarding the poor behavior of the Jewish community? We are not sure yet but are willing to bet we are going to uncover some interesting connections between Mateo and our R&R friends and maybe even a few gems of information lying around…. 

Advocate says he funneled de Blasio donations in pay-for-play scheme

A high-profile cabby advocate whose wife needs the city’s OK for a women-only livery service admitted to The Post on Monday that he raised campaign cash for Mayor Bill de Blasio and funneled it through an unemployed Brooklyn woman.

Fernando Mateo, founder of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, came clean about the blatant violation of election law after The Post learned he had personally solicited a donation for Hizzoner and then had Ahlam Jaoui take credit for it.

The 31-year-old Bay Ridge woman, who has no political or fundraising experience, claims in campaign finance records to have collected 15 donations totaling $18,800 that were given to the de Blasio campaign in January.

One of those contributions came from Oscar Herasme, a Florida lawyer, who confirmed he gave $2,500 to the mayor’s 2017 re-election bid — but when asked about Jaoui said, “It wasn’t through her.”

“I find it odd that the bundler for any donations is someone I never met,” said Herasme, who declined to say who solicited his contribution.

Another $2,500 donor, Damian Rodriguez of First Class Car & Limo, noted he has no particular loyalty to de Blasio.

“Fernando Mateo called me and asked me to give some money to that woman,” he said. “I’ve known him for a long time, since 1997, so I help him when I can.”

The revelations come as de Blasio’s fundraising operations are being probed by both New York US Attorney Preet Bharara and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

Mateo, a well-known Republican supporter, told The Post that he “called my people” to give money to Democrat de Blasio’s campaign and had Jaoui take credit for the donations. Mateo’s name does not appear on Jaoui’s January campaign finance report.

He claims that his motive was to help Jaoui land a city job.

“That’s the way politics works,” Mateo said. “If Ahlam worked hard for his candidacy, you’d think [the mayor] would say, ‘I employ thousands of people, why not at least bring her in for an interview?’

“But she didn’t get s–t. That’s a pisser because I thought she would get something out of it,” he added. “There are people who raise millions for a president and earn an ambassadorship. When you work hard, you get rewarded or at least remembered.”

Mateo denied that he was seeking to curry favor with the administration to get his wife

Stella’s app-based car service off the ground, explaining that while he and de Blasio “haven’t always seen eye to eye, I think he is an honorable man who can do good for this city and that’s why I tried to raise money for him.”

“I’m the epitome of what it is to be a good New Yorker,” said Mateo, who is also president of the group Hispanics Across America.

In 2014, Jaoui was photographed wearing a Muslim headscarf and was quoted as saying how she wanted to be a driver for Stella Mateo’s SheRides business.

“It’s an opportunity for Muslim women,” Jaoui said at the time.

Stella Mateo has since renamed her business either SheHails or SheTaxis, although it appears the project is currently on hold.

“The people developing the app weren’t as good as they said they were going to be,” Fernando Mateo said. “So we’re still working on it.”

Taxi and Limousine Commission spokesman Allan Fromberg said the Mateos sought information about getting licensed in March, but “nothing came of it.”

Jaoui appeared with Mateo at a 2013 rally protesting the suspension of Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez for using performance-enhancing drugs, and she’s being represented in a pending Manhattan DWI case by a lawyer who has joined Mateo at several news conferences.

Jaoui’s role as a de Blasio fundraiser was first reported Monday by the City Council Watch blog.

‘I thought if I helped raise some money, I can get a job. But that didn’t work out.’

 – Ahlam Jaoui

“I just looked at the filing and didn’t recognize this name, so I thought I would try to figure out who she was,” blogger Seth Barron said. “Typically, bundlers are fairly well-known or powerful people . . . It seemed totally anomalous.”

To continue reading click, here.

 

Mayor de Blasio’s “Straw Intermediary”

Campaign finance intermediaries or “bundlers” are typically well-connected, wealthy and powerful people who collect a lot of money for a candidate in order to demonstrate their influence.

So how is one of Mayor de Blasio’s significant bundlers a 31-year old underemployed aspiring taxi driver who lives with her parents in Bay Ridge?

Look at the list of de Blasio’s bundlers…right between Harold Ickes and Suri Kasirer—two of the biggest players in city lobbying—you will find Ahlam Jaoui, who raised $18,800 for the mayor in January of 2016.

A graduate of the College of Staten Island, Ms. Jaoui was on the swimming team, and later worked as a swimming instructor for autistic children.  She lists her employer as “Two Dots Marketing” of Torrance, California.  Two Dots is an agency that books people to work at trade shows or marketing events as “brand ambassadors.”

Ms. Jaoui was in the news in 2014 when a new woman-operated ride-share app was introduced. “SheRides,”also known as “SheTaxis” or “SheHails,” was advertised as a safe way to connect women livery drivers with women passengers.  The service’s publicity campaign focused on Muslim and Orthodox Jewish women—both drivers and riders—who only wanted to deal with other women.

Ahlam Jaoui featured prominently in several articles about SheRides.  In the Daily Newsshe was pictured wearing a hijab, explaining that she wants badly to become a taxi driver.  “I’m so excited to be part of this movement … This gives us the opportunity to feel empowered while keeping our traditional values … We as women can overcome this male-dominated industry.”

Elsewhere, Jaoui was quoted saying, “This is an opportunity to make money and also have my religious beliefs.”  She added, “I have a lot of family members that are (male) drivers, but (they) wouldn’t feel comfortable with me driving other men.”

Ahlam Jaoui: modern woman

AHLAM JAOUI: MODERN WOMAN

Ahlam Jaoui may be very religious, or have her own standards of religiosity of which it is not our place to judge.  However, her Facebook profile contains a number of revealing bikini shots that would seem to belie her stated need for cloistered modesty.

Clash of civilizations??

CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS??

Additionally, Ms. Jaoui appears to have been arrested for drunk driving in September, 2015.  She filed a motion to dismiss the charges of “driving while intoxicated” and “driving while ability impaired” on the grounds that the court violated her right to a speedy trial; the motion was denied on May 16.  Naturally the presumption of innocence obtains in this unresolved case, though if Ms. Jaoui is guilty, then it might be hard for her to get a TLC license, and her strict religious practice might be brought into question as well—although only God is the true judge of that case.

SheRides, or SheHails as it is now called, was founded by Stella Mateo, the wife of Fernando Mateo, the prominent and controversial founder of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers.  Fernando Mateo, a native of the Dominican Republic who now lives in tony Irvington in Westchester, made a fortune in carpets before organizing mostly Latino livery drivers uptown.

Mateo, a noted Republican fundraiser who brought Texas governor Rick Perry to Inwood in 2012, makes the news frequently.  A few years ago he raised eyebrows when he called on taxi drivers to racially profile their hails.  More recently, as an investor in the well-known Dyckman Street waterside club La Marina, Mateo offered to have a boxing match with his partners in order to settle a contentious business dispute.

SheRides/SheHails was launched in 2014, but questions regarding the legality of hiring only women as drivers forced the service to go on hiatus.  Reconfigured to allow for both men and women drivers, the company is attempting to get around New York City’s Human Rights Law by letting the passenger choose the driver.  Supposedly the company will re-launch this summer with its new business model.

The donors whom Ahlam Jaoui bundled on behalf of Mayor de Blasio seem to travel in orbits that she would be unlikely to enter or influence on her own.  Two of the largest donors, Antonio Cabrera and Damian Rodriguez, are Dominican-American owners of major car service companies in Upper Manhattan who contributed $3500 and $2500 respectively to the 2017 de Blasio campaign.

Jaoui also raised $2500 from Jeannette Castillo, an unemployed Yonkers woman; $1000 from Wendy Estevez, a “consultant” to Washington Heights nightclub Arka Lounge; $3000 from Bronx daycare operator Luis Ducasse; and $2500 from New Jersey attorney Oscar Herasme, a former assistant DA in the New York County District Attorney’s office who specializes in anti-money laundering and immigrant affinity fraud matters.

Now it may be the case that Ahlam Jaoui of her parents’ house in Bay Ridge, who is signed up to find work as a trade show brand ambassador, who is willing to pose wearing a hijab and say that she wants to drive a taxi, and whose LinkedIn profile lists her as still working for an out-of-business investment company, is also a well-positioned power broker who can convince lawyers and business owners in Westchester and New Jersey to contribute thousands of dollars to Mayor de Blasio’s re-election campaign.

To Continue reading click, here.

TOMCHE SHABBOS OF ROCKLAND – RED FLAG!!! – Part II (updated)

A Worthy Cause and its Finances

In Memory of R’ Chaim Munzer

#
The life story, goals and accomplishments of R’ Chaim Munzer ע”ה , personify what Tomche Shabbos is all about. He grew up in difficult economic circumstances in pre-war Galicia, lost his entire family in the war and was on the run for six years in Russia experiencing starvation first hand. He never lost faith and was always מדקדק במצוות in the most difficult of circumstances. With the help of his life partner Sara Munzer שתחי’, he rebuilt a life in New York and raised a family based on תורה, חסדות, ומעשים טובים. He conducted his life in a quiet and unassuming manner, always cheerful and שמח בחלקו, while never forgetting those in dire need. He leaves a legacy to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of אהבת תורה ואהבת ישראל. He would be immensely proud to see how his offspring are engrossed in לימוד תורה and חסד.
The family takes great pride in the fact that Tomche Shabbos has been named in his memory. May his זכותים and מעשים טובים reverberate and multiply through the work of Tomche Shabbos and that of the דורות that he nurtured and sustained.

TOMCHE SHABBOS OF ROCKLAND – RESPONSE TO COMMENTS

June 1, 2016

(***Additional updates below 5:45pm EST)

Yesterday we posted an article written by a volunteer for the Tomchei organization, someone who holds the organization in high esteem. The article came with an introduction regarding a fundraiser which is happening today, June 1, 2016 with a link to the fundraiser. The author focused on a specific concern: the finances of the Tomche Shabbos of Rockland and the inordinate payments made to executives of the organization.

In fairness, the author repeatedly reiterated that he did not want to malign the work done by the Tomchei organization as a whole, or for that matter the dedication of Rockland’s Tomche Shabbos branch. He could not discount, however,  the financial discrepancies of Rockland’s Tomche Shabbos.

As a result of that article we received numerous comments, as did other social media sites that shared our article. We have decided to address one of the comments in particular:

“They do work on this org for more then 40+ hours a week, and I am curious in singly out this Tomche Shabbos, if you checked if they are distributing to the same amount of people, or have the same programs, or get the same calls about kids who need to be placed out of their families, or families who need housing because they are living in their cars. Are all the Touché Shabbos orgs, doing the same work? Do they all have job placement, and job training programs? If you look at the chart you put up, the orgs that have the most money are the ones that pay the salaries, so clearly it helps that they are paying people.

I know for a fact that the people in Monsey who run Tomche Shabbos and get paid eat, breathe and sleep (very little sleep, btw) this organization. You took raw numbers, you should have called them. This just comes across as a hit piece”

There are several possible responses to the comments above. The first, as pointed out by one of our commenters, is that we cannot assume that the dedication of any other Tomchei Shabbos organization is any less than that of Rockland. It is likely that in each organization there are people who “eat, breathe and sleep…this organization.”

The author of yesterday’s article focused on the raw numbers. And, contrary to the comments above, the numbers tell a slightly more nefarious story than the author’s piece described. Had the author wanted this to be a “hit piece”, the author would have also brought up the history of Rabbi Moskowitz, which would have detracted from the purpose of his story, finances. We received the following by email. It may be irrelevant in telling the story of this organization in terms of numbers, it is relevant insofar as its exclusion was intentional. The author did not want to write “hit piece”. We are not being so generous.

Perhaps the same ’employee’ Rabbi Moskowitz quoted in a  2007 story in which his sympathy for a sexual abusing Rabbi knew no bounds?
“Rabbi Jacob Moskowitz of Monsey said Weingarten was a “very nice person” who was well regarded as a Judaic scholar in Antwerp, Belgium, where he taught for years.

“He sits at home and doesn’t hurt a fly,” Moskowitz said, adding the allegations were the product of a “dirty matrimonial case.”

He said Weingarten’s students were so devoted to him that some had taken out mortgages to help him financially over the years as he faced allegations.

“He has a lot of supporters. People have a lot of sympathy for him,” Moskowitz said.”

Monsey-based Rabbi Charged with Sexually Abusing Girl for Nearly a Decade, Steve Lieberman and Jonathan Bandler, The Journal News, October 7, 2007

Regarding the raw numbers, the following photos are taken from the summary page of the form 990 for the 2014 tax year (which also includes the previous year) for each of 8 Tomchei organizations in addition to Rockland. We have posted them in alphabetical order.

We are in receipt of the returns, available upon request, along with the 2013 returns for each organization which summarizes 2012.

On the basis of numbers alone, the Rockland Tomche organization declares far more in expenses in proportion to its gross receipts/contributions than most, if not all, of the other organizations. In comparison it pays salaries disproportionate to its gross receipts and an argument that paying higher salaries yields greater returns is simply not a conclusion which can be raised by comparing the returns.

On raw numbers alone, the author’s concerns regarding voting members is also legitimate if not questionable. We thank the author of yesterday’s article and also those who wanted us to dig deeper. We do believe that Tomche Shabbos of Rockland’s tax returns tell a story that is not financially consistent with the other organizations and warrant further investigation.

***After reading some more comments today, it encouraged us to do some more research on this subject and we found something amazing. To end the argument once and for all, we discovered that for sure one of the employees cannot possibly “eat, breathe and sleep…” Tomche Shabbos Rockland, nor can he “do work on this organization for more than 40+ hours per week” because he also ‘happens to be’ dean of a girls school. We wonder how he can be paid a large full-time salary from Tomchei Shabbos of Rockland with public tzedaka money while is is also dean of a girls’ school.

We have included at the very bottom of the page two YouTube videos for the purposes of an introduction to the organization and its mission for those unfamiliar. While we question Rockland’s numbers, we would be remiss in not mentioning that the organization has dedicated volunteers who perform a well-needed service for the community. We hope that the good is not overshadowed by what looks to us to be cloudy business practices. 

We leave it to you.

BALTIMORE:

Tomchei Baltimore

BERGEN COUNTY:

Tomchei Bergen County

CHICAGO:

Tomchei Chicago

FAR ROCKAWAY:

tomchei far rockaway

FLATBUSH:

Tomchei Flatbush

LAKEWOOD:

tomchei lakewood

LOS ANGELES:

tomchei LA

QUEENS:

tomchei queens

ROCKLAND:

Tomche Rockland.2

 

TOMCHE SHABBOS OF ROCKLAND – RED FLAG!!!

Amazing Tomchei Shabbos Organizations

SADLY NOT ALL RUN THE SAME WAY FINANCIALLY -TOMCHE ROCKLAND’S DISTURBING FINANCES…

tomche rockland.2_4

By A Tomchei Shabbos Volunteer, May 31, 2016

Tomorrow, June 1, 2016, several Tomchei Shabbos organizations across the country will band together to promote an amazing fundraising campaign, including Baltimore, Lakewood, Chicago, Monsey, Queens, and Los Angeles. It is a 24 hour matching-gifts fundraiser trying to raise a wonderfully large sum of 3 million dollars!

Here is the website https://www.charidy.com/solvehungertoday

Since they put all of these Tomchei Shabbos organizations together on one pedestal, the question for any potential donors is, “Are they all being run the same way financially?”

Tomchei Shabbos organizations have traditionally been run by volunteers that don’t get any salaries. Every week, thousands of people across the country volunteer at every level of these organizations, to ensure that every single dollar received as a donation is used directly for the poor, with minimal overhead. Now it is totally understandable that many of these TS organizations have grown from a ‘mom and pop’ operation, and do require spending on necessary overhead (dinners, mailings, office expenses, etc), yet somehow, when it comes to actual manpower and man hours, the wonderful citizens of klal yisorel continue to donate their time and efforts for free, or at the very least, minimally. Yes, there are many tzedaka organizations that pay their executives larger salaries plus paid staff, and in most cases, they are totally justifiable because of the nature of that specific charitable mandate.

But Tomchei Shabbos, by its very own unique nature has for so many years been inherently run without compensating those involved, or at the very least minimally (compared to overall expenses), including those at the executive levels. Tomchei Shabbos and their affiliates are sterling name brands that are universally endorsed for their irrefutable reputations of volunteerism and minimal salaried overhead.

So I was curious, how much are they all actually distributing for charity?  So I looked over the last few year’s tax returns of these 6 Tomchei Shabbos that are participating in the June 1st fundraiser, as well as 3 other Tomchei Shabbos organizations across the country, to get a sense of how they are all being run. What I found was 8 out of the 9 Tomchei Shabbos run a beautiful tight ship.  As expected, many pay zero salaries, others average 2-3%, and just a few pay slightly more, all perpetuating the aforementioned unique nature that is a Tomche Shabbos tzedaka fund.

tomche rocklandHowever, looking at the ninth, Tomche Shabbos of Rockland, Monsey NY, (https://www.tomcheshabbos.org/) I saw a disturbing and very stark contrast compared to all the other eight TS organizations.

Over the last few years, Tomche Shabbos of Rockland has consistently paid both the highest percentage of executive salaries versus total charities distributed, an average of 13%(!), as well as the actual dollars paid, most recently $308,181 annually(!!).

See the following Salaries Comparison Report for all 9 Tomchei Shabbos. See the difference among them!

Tomchei salaries

Please note, I am NOT knocking the great work that Tomchei Shabbos of Rockland does, they clearly help the underprivileged in Monsey. But if they would run it like all the other Tomchei Shabbos across America, then an additional $150,000-$300,000 annually could be ‘found’ and allocated directly to the poor. How’s that for a common sense fundraiser?

Looking specifically at TS Rockland’s tax returns from the last few years, one finds several disturbing things (http://www.guidestar.org/profile/13-3694712) :

EIN
13-3694712

Physical Address

313-E Spook Rock Road

Suffern, NY 10901

Contact

Mr. Alan Rosenstock

jobs@tomcheshabbos.org

President

Tel: (845)356-0202

http://www.tomcheshabbos.org

Main Address

PO Box 847

Monsey, NY 10952

Physical Address

313-E Spook Rock Road

Suffern, NY 10901

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Meals on Wheels (K36)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

IRS Filing Requirement
This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

 (1) It seems that this $300K+ salary is primarily for 2 people. Including employee benefits and payroll taxes, they each average an over $120-$130,000 salary!

I called a Monsey resident, and was informed that Alan Rosentock is the founder and primary employee. So even if one could justify such a high salary for one person at a Tomchei Shabbos (assuming they are working full-time on this), why does employee #2 need to get paid over $120,000-$130,000 a year including benefits and payroll taxes? Is he working full time on this (40+ hrs), every week of the year? And why can’t Tomche Shabbos of Rockland find someone who’ll do these jobs, for far less, even for free, just like all the other Tomchei Shabbos across the country? Why do they need to pay 2 full time large executive salaries, when they have access to a fantastic and robust community that already volunteers for them in the hundreds?  Looking at Tomche Shabbos Rockland’s website, one can see they also provide many services; but so do the other Tomchei Shabbos across America, and they do it for free or minimally. In fact, many of the other organizations are much larger and complex, yet pay far less salaries or nothing at all.

 (2) It seems they have illegally misstated their tax returns since 2013. It clearly states on Page 7, that any Trustee, or highest compensated employee, particularly anyone getting paid over $10,000 annually, must be listed on Page 7.

See the attached 2011 and 2012 tax returns, where they list on Page 7, two employees, Alan Rosenstock and Jacob Moskowitz, who got paid salaries. However, starting with the 2013 tax return, Jacob Moskowitz’s name is dropped from Page 7, and simply relegated to the total amounts of salaries – ‘no names’, on Page 10, line items 7, 9, and 10. The salaries didn’t go down, in fact, they went up that year. Looking at their website, Jacob Moskowitz is still listed as Director, a title that most definitely warrants being listed in name and salary amount on Page 7 of their tax returns.

2013-tomcheshabbos

2012-tomcheshabbos

TS Rockland 2011

(3) Another questionable find was the minimal amount of people who are on the Board, controlling so much money, some who even get a salary. In particular, up until 2012, of the 4 Board members listed, 2 were getting full salaries. Now there are officially only 3 board members listed, one of which is getting a full salary (The other full salary is still being paid, just not listed on the correct page). It seems fiscally irresponsible that:

(a) A board member that decides on any financial decisions is getting a salary.

(b) Such a multimillion dollar charity should have so few people on its Board running it (Just 3 board members in this case). This can lead to irregularities such as financial conflict of interests, self dealing, minimal self governance, etc. The bigger the amounts distributed, in this case millions, the more board members are necessary to ensure complete transparency. And looking at the aforementioned items, as well as comparing to the other Tomchei Shabbos, these irregularities are to be found here.

Once again, I am not knocking the work done by Tomchei Shabbos of Rockland (https://www.tomcheshabbos.org/).

But I am questioning their Board’s handling of its finances. This is a massive red flag! Why are their salaries astronomically and substantially much more than literally every single other Tomche Shabbos in America that run the same type of organization on much leaner salaries, or none whatsoever, by utilizing non-paid volunteers. Monsey has enough people that I am sure would do this all for free or minimally, so why are they spending over $300,000 on executive salaries?

To reiterate, I am not questioning their good work, I’m just questioning their usage of public donations for their extremely high executive salaries, especially compared to all the other Tomchei Shabbos across America.

 

 

Mark Peters and de Blasio Fundraising Probe, Recusing Himself?

 

Mark Peters – Crosshairs? Not so Sure

LostMessiah, April 18, 2016

City Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters recuses himself from de Blasio fundraising probe

The New York Daily News reported on April 15, 2016

The head of the city Department of Investigation late Friday bowed out of a growing probe of Mayor de Blasio’s fund-raising because of his previous role as the mayor’s campaign treasurer.

DOI Commissioner Mark Peters was de Blasio’s treasurer during the 2013 campaign. His agency is currently involved in an ongoing probe of the mayor’s fund-raising by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office.

EDITORIAL: THE MARK PETERS PRINCIPLE

Peters’ office issued a statement — without mentioning his role as treasurer — saying that to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest, he would step away from DOI’s probe of the matter.

“As has been reported, the Department of Investigation, in conjunction with its law enforcement partners, is investigating allegations related to certain (de Blasio) campaign donors,” the statement read. “In order to avoid the appearance of a conflict, the commissioner has recused himself from these matters.”

 

Read additional:

The Mark Peters principle: The city’s investigations chief, former de Blasio campaign treasurer, won’t recuse himself from a fundraising investigation. Bad move.

 Friday, April 15, 2016, 4:05 AM

Peters draws a bright line invisible to the naked eye. Any possibility of improper influence colors the entirety of this donor’s giving — and any investigation must go from the very start of a timeline that begins, in de Blasio’s own telling, with his victory in the September 2013 primary.

\

Presciently, Council members Jumaane Williams and Daniel Garodnick fretted about this very scenario in Peters’ January 2014 confirmation hearing.

“I can’t think of an instance where . . . I would need to recuse myself from a matter involving the mayor,” the nominee harrumphed.

Are you sure? asked Garodnick. What if the Campaign Finance Board came calling about the de Blasio campaign?

“I hadn’t thought of that,” Peters admitted, and then restated: “If the Campaign Finance Board were to make a referral to DOI involving the mayor’s 2013 mayoral campaign then yes, for that I would recuse myself.”

Oh, nothing like that to see here — just a relentless, corruption-busting U.S. attorney chasing some very bad behavior closer and closer to de Blasio’s doorstep.”

For the entire article click, here.

 

See also:

Police Leaders Questioned Amid Inquiry of Businessmen Linked to de Blasio

The New York Times, April 5, 2016

Some of the police officials interviewed responded later to follow-up questions from the agents, who are assigned to a squad that investigates public corruption, one of those briefed on the investigation said. The inquiry is being conducted with prosecutors from the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan, and a federal grand jury has begun hearing evidence in the case, two of the people familiar with the matter said.

The two businessmen, Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg, served on Mr. de Blasio’s inaugural committee in 2013, along with more than 70 others, including the actress Sarah Jessica Parker, the author Junot Díaz, the billionaire businessman Ronald O. Perelman, the real estate developer Steve Witkoff and Mark G. Peters, who was Mr. de Blasio’s campaign treasurer and is now the commissioner of the Investigation Department.

The precise allegations under investigation are unclear; neither man has been charged with a crime.

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