Daily News from New York, New York on May 22, 1991 · 361
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Daily News from New York, New York · 361

New York, New York
Issue Date:
Wednesday, May 22, 1991
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DAILY NEWS KSI Phones Brooklyn News Bureau: (718) 875-4455 Fax: (718) 875-7795 Home Delivery: 1-800 692-NEWS Reward for info on S.I. slayer Detectives" group offers $5,000 for information in hunt for killer of retired Brooklyn detective. -Page KSI 4 Wednesday, May 22. 1991 1 &&0I31 1 - 1 r",j " yy" myJWT Ti' TTHF TVTy - 4r$&2f v . --f - M ' hxgmki& vy ? "f v1 T! Yt-V - ssK.1- 'tvY W& .-jrf' y rT.V life Rl ATF nf ci icniriru ic rvrioin uoctorrlau hAauilu rtamaspd (Vn5tantinp A BLAZE of suspicious origin yesterday heavily damaged SS. Constantine and Helen the church at 2 p.m. and then spread to the roof. Fire marshals have declared the cause Cathedral on Schermerhom St near Court St It took firefighters an hour to get the fire suspicious and begun an investigation. Surveying damage to Greek Orthodox sanctuary under control. Four firefighters were injured in the blaze, which broke out in the back of is Alex Vanchanos, a member of the church's board of trustees. biustahl daily news By DAVID J. OESTREICHER Daily News Staff Wrrter The state inspector general charged yesterday that officials of Brooklyn's Vann-guard Urban Improvement Association Inc. illegally used taxpayer dollars to give $76,000 in interest-free loans to 52 of its employes from 1983 to 1989. Vannguard is named for Assemblyman Albert Vann (D-. 'Brooklyn), who founded the organization in 1975. It provides youth, housing and legal services to Bedford-Stuy-vesant A 20-page report issued by Inspector General Joseph Spinelli also accused Vannguard, based in Bedford-Stuyvesant, of filing false statements that inflated its Robbers, loot hit the ceiling A "Ninja bandit" trio dropped from the ceiling of a Flat-lands check-cashing store yesterday, surprising a 38-year-old woman worker, and made off with an estimated $180,000 in cash and food stamps, police said. - The robbers, clad in black ski masks, pants, shirts and gloves, dropped from the ceiling as the worker entered a rear room of the store, at 1775 Flatbush Ave., about 8 a.m. One, waving a small black revolver, ordered the terrified employe to open, the safe before he, handcuffed her, wrists and ankles. The: crooksflectche way they entered. expenses in an effort to obtain more state money. The report recommended criminal prosecution by Attorney General Robert Abrams. But Abrams declined, saying, through a spokeswoman, "We reviewed the evidence and found no grounds for prosecution." She declined to be specific. Some of the loans ran as high as $24,000, the report said. Contacted in Albany yesterday afternoon, Vann refused to comment beyond saying: MI know of the report but I have not read it" George Glee Jr., executive director of Vannguard, denied the allegations, saying, in effect, that expenditure of pom agora! funds was Vannguard's business. "Everything we do here is clean," said Glee, who acknowledged that interest-free loans were made to employes. "The money did not come from the state," he said. Asked where the money did come from, Glee said the source was rental income from properties of the subsidiary Vannguard Local Development Corp. in buildings at 1471-1477 Fulton St He said tenants there were the Bed-ford-Stuyvesant Community Health Center and Bedford-Stuyvesant Legal Services. Both groups are subsidized by the state, city and federal governments. "What we do with our money is up to our board of directors," Glee said. In 1988, the most recent year for which audited figures are available, Vannguard received $1.9 million in state, federal and city funds, the report said. Employes who received the loans, the report stated, were also responsible for administering and processing loan repayments a practice for which the, inspector genera) foui noting Jn writing.' The report said Glee told the inspector general that the loans were granted solely for "emergency purposes." Glee told the inspector general and the Daily News that his authority to give loans comes from the board of directors. The report said nothing was found in writing to back up that claim. Some of the loans have been repaid. Glee told the inspector general that only one loan was outstanding. But the report said his review of three employes' loan files as of April 28, 1990, showed "multiple loans totaling $14,232.47 were still outstanding." The inspector general issued a long list of recommendations to correct Vannguard's shortcomings. Its strongest recommendation was that no state funds should be used for personal loans. In a particularly damning section of the report, the inspector general charges that Vannguard, which "has experienced serious cash-flow difficulties," draws checks on accounts stemming from its contracts with the, state,-but sits, on them sometimes for ' as long as six months.; YY'Y'. jrf Community outrage over a proposed federal jail in Sunset Park may soon erupt into a full-blown legal battle. If the Federal Bureau of Prisons "decides to go forward with the prison, we fully expect that we would contest it," said John Carroll, a lawyer for a group of local and elected officials opposed to the proposed Metropolitan Detention Center. Carroll said the center, which would house 1,000 inmates, will be challenged under the National Environmental Protection Act on grounds that the area does not have sufficient water and sewer facilities to handle the additional prison population. Carroll also charged that Sunset Park cannot handle the increased traffic of transporting detainees in light of the Gowanus Expressway reconstruction. The planned jail is to occupy two buildings at 29th St and Third Ave. within Bush Terminal. $ .,,.m fraaceSjM&cMoiyis 3 C

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