Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dim Bulbs Misused Stimulus $?

Dim Bulbs Misused Stimulus $?
State investigating funds funneled through ‘cultural’ program

By Michael Horowitz

BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 27- A spokeswoman for a state agency that gave Co-op City a $1-million grant for energy-conservation efforts in 2011 said, this week, that her agency is investigating allegations in connection with the grant.

Co-op City could face sanctions of one kind or another if the probe finds major irregularities in connection with the grant from NYSERDA (the New York State Energy and Research Development Agency) to the Riverbay Fund.

The $1-million grant for improved lighting in Co-op City’s garages was funneled to Co-op City through the Riverbay Fund, a non-profit organization that management set up in the early-1980s to promote cultural programs in the local community.

The $1-million in grant money, made possible through President Obama’s economic-stimulus package, was directed through the Riverbay Fund because NYSERDA refused to give the money directly to the Riverbay Corporation. 

One reported irregularity, as noted by the individual complaining to NYSERDA, was that money for energy conservation should not have been directed through an organization that was set up to promote cultural programs, the News has learned through informed sources.

Another reported irregularity was that Herbert Freedman was identified as the executive director of the Riverbay Fund even though he holds no title in the organization, the informed source added. 

Contacted this week, Freedman withheld comment. 

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