Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another Legislator Involved In A Questionable Non-Profit Deal

House Appropriations Chairman Dwight Evans just added his name to the list of Pennsylvania solonians who started non-profits only to be involved in questionable transactions. According to the Pennsylvania Independent the non-profit bailed out friends and collegues of Evans in a failed nightclub to the tune of $700,000.00.

The Ogontz Avenue Rehabilitation Corp. (OARC) purchased North By Northwest, a Mount Airy nightspot, in March and it has remained closed since. In return, OARC received nothing tangible, not even a state liquor license, according to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

The initial costs borne by OARC included $400,000 in debt and $169,000 in back taxes on the property that had been leased by the North by Northwest partners. OARC was also saddled with $160,000 rent on the property until the lease expired in October.

Mr. Evans, through a spokesperson, declined to comment on the situation to the Pennsylvania Independent. The woman did say Mr. Evans is not involved in OARC operations. His supporters, however, are.

The North by Northwest partners were Mr. Evans’ longtime protégé Ameenah Young, president of the Pennsylvania Convention Center and first recipient of the Dwight Evans Leadership Award given by OARC; prominent city lawyer Carl Singley and his wife, Rose; Ina Walker, CEO of the New Media Technology Charter School; and Philadelphia attorney Hugh Clark, president of that school.

The school is one of six city charter schools currently under federal investigation for possible misuse of funds and has received $500,000 in state taxpayer money. Mr. Clark and Ms. Walker have been asked to step down from their positions, but have refused to do so thus far.

Just last week SOP reported about Senator Argall's non-profit issue. Of course former Senator Vince Fumo's conviction forced the closing of his non-profit, Citizens' Alliance for Better Neighborhoods, which was a central focus in his trial. Lest we not forget former Representative Michael Veon's trouble with Beaver For Initiative Growth, BIG, a non-profit agency created by Veon.

Should we have applauded Senator Mellow when he wanted to tax the non-profits?? Take it easy...just kidding.

AG Tom Corbett has a Handbook for Charitable Non-Profit Organizations online. One would think that one of these fine legislators would at least take the time to read the damn thing.

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