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August 7, 2013- BatteryPark.TV has extensively reported on the dubious free money handouts given by previous BPCA administrations to so-called charities. The most egregious of these gifts has been the $250,000 per year given to Tribeca’s Bob Townley and his Manhattan Youth community center. The BPCA is now re-evaluating those policies.
Today, the NY Post is reporting on the same issues, “Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, who has railed against the City Council for doling out “member items” to curry political favor, had no problem shelling out similar grants when he headed the Battery Park City Authority, The Post has learned. As chairman of the authority, Thompson allocated $1.1 million to nonprofits in 2011, including at least five groups singled out by the state inspector general as unfit to receive such funds because they did not directly serve the authority’s mission. Records show that the grants paid big political dividends for Thompson, whose campaign raked in $75,000 in contributions from board members of the organizations he funded. One of those was the Jamaica Business Resource Center in Queens, which received $5,000 and isn’t even in the same borough as the ¬authority. The founder of that group, the Rev. Floyd Flake, later endorsed Thompson for mayor. Thompson also gave $20,000 to the Tribeca Film Festival, where Jonathan Tisch, a board member of the festival’s parent company, donated the maximum $4,950 to Thompson’ s mayoral campaign.”