Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Where's the Independent Compliance Monitor? Chair of CBA Coalition, in 2009 campaign, understated compensation by more than $58,000

Remember the Independent Compliance Monitor that has not been hired for the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement (CBA)?

Remember how a Forest City Ratner executive last week claimed that "the entire CBA monitors us on a regular basis"?

Well, if there really was monitoring, wouldn't we know us how much Forest City paid its CBA partners like Brooklyn Endeavor Experience (BEE), run by Delia Hunley-Adossa, who chairs the CBA Coalition and has been a reliable speaker at arena events and, before that, project rallies?

2009 claims

Hunley-Adossa has not exactly been forthcoming about those numbers.

A 9/2/09 Daily News article, when Hunley-Adossa was running for City Council against Letitia James,  stated:
"Hunley-Adossa said her group got about $400,000 from Forest City Ratner. Its biggest single expenditure has been her salary - $51,000 over six years, she said."
2007 IRS Form 990
As I reported 8/28/09, she was asked in an interview, “There have been some reports that BEE’s largest expenditure is on actually your compensation as opposed to program services. Is that accurate?” 

“Well, initially, it very well was,” Hunley-Adossa responded. “And that’s because--look at the length of time I’ve been involved. So it made sense. I’ve been involved in this project for almost six years. So it just built up. But you’re talking about $52,000 over six years, you figure it out. How much did I get?”
A second look

Hunley-Adossa's statements were rather... imprecise.

At the time of her statements, the only extant Form 990 report to the Internal Revenue Service from BEE concerned fiscal (and calendar) year 2007. That year, the organization received $173,000 in direct public support, of which $75,110 went to compensation, including $51,447 to Hunley-Adossa.
2008 IRS Form 990

That was the sum she used in the press.

But the funding continued. According to the 2008 Form 990, which concerned that fiscal and calendar year, BEE received $172,900 in direct public support and spent $79,713 on compensation, with $58,347 to Hunley-Adossa.

But that document was signed on 11/16/09, after the election, and after those interviews. 

So her total compensation was nearly $110,000, more than double the number she used in the press.

Following up

I contacted Hunley-Adossa for any comment and explanation, but didn't get a response.

That's OK. But that's also why there should be an Independent Compliance Monitor.

When FCR was queried

At a 7/22/09 public meeting, the moderator read a question: How much has Forest City Ratner provided to its CBA partners?

“I don’t have those numbers,” responded Forest City executive MaryAnne Gilmartin.

What about an estimate?

“Forest City has funding obligations and commitments to each of the organizations, and they’re reviewed on an annual basis,” Gilmartin replied. “We’re happy to provide an accounting, generally, of that, but I don’t have that information with me. Again, it depends on what they’re doing, presently, and what the expectations they’re going to be doing in the going-forward year, and it’s done on a very regular basis, in close consultation with each of the CBA members.”

They haven't provided that public accounting. That's another reason for an Independent Compliance Monitor.

BEE 2007 Form 990

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