Award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is Senior Editor for Politics & Policy for WNYC News. She has previously served as Metro Editor, Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
Help Us Crack a Case of Albany Corruption: The $3 Million Mystery
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
There’s a new report out that alleges corrupt misdeeds in Albany, including hidden campaign expenditures and bundles of contributions made to non-profits connected to lawmakers. Among the many findings, one stood out to us: A non-profit, housed in a New York City storefront, has received $3 million in funding from state lawmakers to provide medical services, but doesn't appear to have offered much in the way of services.
The Moreland report, which spans nearly 100 pages, says the investigation into this particular non-profit is inconclusive so far, and it didn't name names. We'd like to do our own digging, and we need your help. Check out the description of the place, including the details we highlight below, and tell us if you have any leads. What's the name of this non-profit? And who are the lawmakers who funded it?
We’re going to be reporting out the investigation on our end, and following up on any tips you all provide us (anonymously, if you prefer). Email us at email@example.com and we can start cracking the case.
- A non-profit, a provider of medical services, operates a storefront somewhere with in the borders of New York City.
- It has received $3 million in "legislatively-directed discretionary state funding," including "member item funding."
- The funding came from a "geographically and politically diverse" group of the "state's most powerful lawmakers" also described as "high-profile"
- The funding does not appear to have come from a competitive bidding process.
- Its director makes a six-figure salary.
- It has offices in NY, NJ, and two other countries.
- It receives a taxpayer-funded rent subsidy.
- It sublets much of its space to another non-profit.
- It employs an in-house lobbyist.
- It employs a "top-shelf outside lobbying firm."
- It runs a "hotline."
- It operates with "little scrutiny and no medical oversight."
- Investigators placed a pole-camera outside the shop, and filmed it for 25 days -- "showing little foot traffic to the building."
The Moreland Commission was empaneled by Governer Andrew Cuomo in July to investigate Albany practices. You can read the full report here -- including more puzzles -- or browse it below.