Monday, October 11, 2010

The Charity of the Attorney General

AG sees no evil in CPA contracts
If anyone wants to know why child welfare agencies are never contractually debarred or shut down, here is the perfect example:  There is no one else who can do the job.

There is one particular variable I found in this article that stood out.  The Attorney General's Charity Section.

When a non-profit is a Child Placing Agency (CPA), it typically is licensed by the state and does not go through the state's attorney general charity division.  For whatever reason, as a non-profit child welfare agency, they can now solicit donations.

But when the CPA is no longer a CPA because they had to shut down due to violations, they start back up, still in child welfare and still soliciting donations without approval of the attorney general's charity section.

I can only speak upon Michigan, but I know that the Attorney General's Charity Division does not have any oversight on the contracts in child welfare and I will bet in the rest of the States, this hold true.

There is another reason why the Michigan Attorney General has nothing to do with state contracts in child welfare and that is due to the fact that the Attorney General prosecutes child abuse and neglect cases.  How can the Attorney General administer a contract of an agency of which he contemporaneously advocates and advises?  This is why the attorney general, generously, covers his eyes to violations of law with CPAs

And this charity of the attorney general is why CPAs are never contractually debarred.

Vito snares $135M pact despite probe

The city and state are moving forward with $135 million in new home-care contracts with the Ridgewood Bushwick social-services agency controlled by Assemblyman Vito Lopez -- even as months-long investigations into its activities are going full steam ahead, The Post has learned.

City officials vigorously defended the unusual move, warning that hundreds of homebound Medicaid patients would be left in the lurch if the contracts were suddenly pulled.

"That's a service that can't stop," declared mayoral spokeswoman Jessica Scaperotti. "This money is not frozen."

That put the city in the awkward position of proceeding on one set of contracts with the politically powerful social-services goliath while freezing others pending a sign-off from the state Attorney General's Charities Bureau.

As The Post first reported, the city halted about $12.5 million in upcoming deals with the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council soon after it was disclosed that the Department of Investigation had uncovered fraud and corruption in one of its units as well as a pliable board of directors that had little idea what it was approving.

DOI is continuing its probe, including the nearly $1 million in salaries pulled down last year by two top executives who have close ties to Lopez, the Brooklyn Democratic Party leader.

Sources said federal authorities in both Brooklyn and Manhattan have also gotten involved.

Ridgewood Bushwick is one of dozens of agencies that provide attendants to 45,000 homebound Medicaid recipients in all five boroughs.

Ridgewood officials said it currently has 341 home attendants in Queens, 726 in Brooklyn and provides 290 housekeeping aides in all the boroughs except The Bronx.

The aides perform household chores; the attendants offer such care as bathing and feeding.

The next round of contracts cover Jan. 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2013. Ridgewood Bushwick is in line to receive two, one covering parts of Queens worth $45.6 million and another for Brooklyn neighborhoods worth $89.6 million.

Although it's widely known for its senior center and housing services, Ridgewood Bushwick receives the largest share of its $100 million a year in city and state contracts for home-care services.

The public will get a rare chance to weigh in when all of Ridgewood's home-care contracts become the subject of hearings before the Mayor's Office of Contract Services on Thursday.

The meeting starts at 10 a.m. at 22 Reade St. in lower Manhattan. Typically, almost no one comes out to testify.

Business as usual

* City and state renewing $135 million in home-care contracts with Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council for Medicaid recipients.

* At the same time, city is delaying $12.5 million in other contracts, pending approval of AG’s office.

* State has frozen all other Ridgewood contracts, worth $25 million.

* Ridgewood serves more than 1,300 homebound patients.

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