THE BRONX, NY and PELHAM, NY – August 8, 2014 — In a letter to Tracy McCabe Shelton, Executive Director of the Kingsbridge-Riverdale-Van Cortlandt Development Corporation (KRVC), former Council Member Oliver Koppell said he is greatly disturbed at the “use of the development corporation as a promotion and publicity vehicle for the re-election campaign of State Senator Jeffrey Klein.”
Founded in 1981 by then Assembly Member Oliver Koppell, KRVC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that was originally incorporated to support and encourage commercial development and community improvements. As a 501(c)(3) organization, the development corporation has tax-exempt status and, according to IRS rules, is prohibited from engaging in political activity.
Koppell asserts that Tracy McCabe Shelton, as Executive Director, is using KRVC’s funds for blatantly political purposes by promoting events with her close friend, State Senator Klein, in which he is prominently featured. While Koppell has no objection to the Development Corporation sponsoring events to improve our communities, he does object to this blatant bolstering of Klein’s candidacy.
Senator Klein is always the focus of the publicity surrounding these events (on the KRVC [ http://www.krvcdc.org ] website; on KRVC e-blasts) and the displays at the events themselves, which include huge placards with Klein’s picture. Further, at the recent movie nights in Seton Park and Van Cortlandt Park, staff members distributed refreshments, repeatedly identifying Senator Klein as having contributed the food for the event.
Koppell is demanding that Tracy McCabe Shelton immediately stop using the development corporation as a vehicle to support Klein for re-election. Koppell said it is a violation of federal law to use a not-for-profit corporation for political purposes.
Koppell also believes that monies from Klein may have been used to bolster the salary of McCabe Shelton. He has therefore demanded the following information be provided to him and to the public no later than 10 days from August 8, 2014, the date of his letter:
(1) The amount of State money Senator Klein been responsible for allocating to the development corporation in the 2013-2014 State budget year and in the 2014-2015 State budget year.
(2) How such funds have been spent in the 2013-2014 State budget year and how such funds have been spent in the 2014-2015 year to date.
(3) The Executive Director’s salary and other compensation for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 State budget years, and whether there was a quid pro quo for such support.
Koppell also asked McCabe Shelton to provide the names and salaries of all current employees of the Development Corporation and the names and compensation of all contractors who have provided goods or services to the Development Corporation.
Koppell concluded that if the information provided indicates violations of the Internal Revenue Code, then McCabe Shelton is putting the tax-exempt status of a very important organization in jeopardy, and she would be violating both her oath as a lawyer and her fiduciary duty to KRVC.
SOURCE: Koppell for State Senate Campaign.
Oliver Koppell, the author of over 300 laws to make New York safer, cleaner, and more prosperous, has served the constituents of New York as a State Assemblyman, City Council Member, and the 61st State Attorney General.
www.oliverkoppell.com – @OliverKoppell – FB: OKoppell
This is the letter dated August 7, 2014 referred to above:
G. OLIVER KOPPELL
5911 Riverdale Avenue
The Bronx, New York 10471
August 7, 2014
Tracy McCabe, Esq.
Riverdale, Kingsbridge Van Cortlandt Development Corp.
The Bronx, New York 10463
Dear Ms. McCabe:
As the founder of KRVDC, I am greatly disturbed at your use of the development corporation as a promotion and publicity vehicle for the re-election campaign of State Senator Jeffrey Klein. As his primary opponent and as a tax payer and citizen of New York, I object to the illegal and improper use of a not-for-profit organization for political purposes in violation of the Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3).
I demand that your activities under the guise of KRVDC in support of your close friend Senator Klein’s re-election cease immediately. I also demand that you provide the following information to me and to the public:
1. How much State money has Senator Klein been responsible for allocating to the development corporation in the 2013/2014 State budget year and in the 2014/2015 State budget year?
2. How have the funds of the development corporation been spent in the 2013/2014 State budget year and how have the funds of the development corporation been spent in the 2014/2015 year to date?
3. What was your salary and other compensation for the 2013/2014 State budget year as well as the 2014/2015 State budget year. How much have you been paid to date in this budget year and did any salary increase result from Senator Klein’s contributions?
4. Please provide the names and salaries of all current employees of the development corporation.
5. Please provide the names and compensation of all contractors who have provided goods or services to the development corporation.
Please provide this information promptly and in no event later than 10 days of the date of this letter.
If the information that you provide indicates that you are violating your obligations under the Internal Revenue Code, you are putting the tax-exempt status of KRVDC in jeopardy. As an attorney and as the Executive Director of an organization that has done a lot of good in our community you do know better than to violate your obligations to this organization.
Very truly yours,
G. Oliver Koppell
cc: Board Members