Monday, June 11, 2012

Grant To Nonprofit Goes Missing

New York Attorney General Eric Schniderman has ordered Queens-based New York 4 Life (NY4L) to explain why a $33,000 grant from the state went missing.

The nonprofit, which is run by Queens councilman Ruben Wills, was supposed to use the grant money to fund a  series of events, including a breakfast for single mothers. Investigators allege that Wills did not fully comply with a subpoena, prompting the state to file a motion to get the organization to reveal its financial records.

The New York Daily News reported that funds were earmarked in 2008 by State Senator Shirley Huntley, who had Wills as her chief of staff. This is the third grant sponsored by Huntley that has come under investigation by Schniderman, though she is not a target in this case.

Wills has been on New York 4 Life's board since its creation in 2006, and also serves as the organization's chairman. The issue with the $33,000 grant first came up when he allegedly did not respond to an April 2011 letter from the Office of Children & Family Services requesting to know how the money was spent. The state then requested NY4L either provide documentation for the funds, or refund it to the state, neither of which occurred according to the state.

After being issued a subpoena by Schniderman February, Wills met with the attorney general and his investigators. He bought only documentation of an undated invoice for $980, according to court papers filed by Schniderman's senior counsel, Emily Bradford. The papers also accuse Wills of skipping other meetings with investigators, including leaving mid-sentence during one questioning.

You can read the full story in The Daily News.

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