The Bronx Community Pride Center, an oasis for LGBT residents in the borough for 16 years, is closing its doors permanently, with the center’s board of directors citing “economic difficulties, past debt and inability to raise funds]” as the culprits.
“The organization has debts which exceed revenues at this time, and without significant cash infusions from major donors they are unable to continue operations financially,” reads a statement sent out Wednesday.
The news comes just two weeks after the Pride Center’s former director, Lisa Winters, was arrested for pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the organization’s budget.
Winters, 47, was fired in January 2010, but it wasn’t until this month that the Bronx District Attorney’s Office issued a criminal complaint, charging her with larceny and falsifying business records.
Allegedly, Winters used Pride Center checks and debit cards to withdraw $338,000, including $15,000 to pay her dog walker, more than $11,000 for clothing, $12,000 for restaurant tabs and nearly $10,000 for items for her pets. Then there was the $25,000 she helped herself to for an African safari her and her wife. (They were among the first couples to wed when New York ratified same-sex marriage.)
The embezzlement scheme put BCPC so far in the red, there was no choice but to shut downe. “As BCPC closes, I ask that all Bronx LGBTQ organizations come together and fill the void that would be left behind,”BCPC’s chairman Antonio Centeno told the New York Post
According to the post she’s been ripping off money for FIVE YEARS.
Where the hell was the Board of Directors? I guess there was no real board of directors reviewing the finances.
@QJ201: This is why you always have two or three people following the money trail. Any well ran organization has financial oversight from the treasurer of the board, the director themselves and a private treasurer hired just to keep an eye on the budget.
Not catching this for five years is unacceptable. They should have caught it the very first time that the bitch wrote a check or used a card.
the other Greg
Something similar happened with the ex-director of the Boston Living Center (a gambling addict).
@Daez: Yes, with a non-profit, it’s a mystery how anything like this goes on for longer than a YEAR at most, because of the annual tax filing?
Shouldn’t donors sue the board for not maintaining oversight of the finances? Don’t board members have a fiduciary responsibility to audit their own expenditures to avoid this kind of thing in the first place, regardless of what kind of nonprofit it is?
If someone wants to take thousands or millions of donor dollars with no responsibility they should become a church leader or televangelist; they do it all the time even though working on Sunday is punishable by death according to the bible.
@the other Greg: They both were just typical liberals feeling entitled to your money.
What else did you expect?
This is so sad and tragic. These LGBT centers created to be safe havens for our communities being decimated by greed and people with no integrity. A friend of mine informed me that a LGBT agency in Brooklyn (I believe it’s called GRIOT) is currently under investigation for gross mismanagement. He’s not sure if there’s any mismanagement of funds, but whatever it is has triggered this investigation. The investigation is being conducted by the Mayor’s Department of Investigation (DOI).
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